Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults


This show is the sort which polarises audiences as to the actual credibility and worth of the Fringe. Some will see it as totally worthwhile and refreshing whilst others will simply find it tiresome and more than a little wanky. Therefore it is very much a love it or loathe it show although I am still struggling to make up my mind as to what camp I feel more settled in.

On paper it is exactly the sort of thing I love and the performance was pretty much pitch perfect but unfortunately after the first ten to fifteen minutes I just kept wishing it were over and I could go and do something else.

 Basing itself on Kamishibai which is an ancient Japanese form of story telling-or street theatre- which uses illustrated pieces of paper to accompany the words of the narrator the show is performed exquisitely by Jemma Khan assisted by a scowling sidekick known only as Chalk Girl and played with a scowl, sneer and a veil of attitude by Klara Van Wyk. It is an eclectic collection of tales with the title one perhaps being the most intricate and involving and takes in subject matter of several cultures  and languages- Nelson Mandela and Super Mario are merely two reference points – thus affording it a universal and pan generational appeal.

 Despite all this the whole thing just felt a little too ‘try hard’ in its objectives and it is the kind of effort which would give Fringe detractors a field day in their condemnation of the whole event. I tried really hard to love this show but ultimately the most I could ever manage was to admire it.


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