Monday, August 24, 2009

Review: The Shadow Orchestra *****

The Shadow Orchestra is Xavier Mortimer's charming and creative mix of mime, sleight-of-hand, visual trickery and uniquely Gallic flair.

In a spellbinding and utterly beguiling show, Mortimer delights throughout, whether performing some expertly-honed magic skills or interacting with shadow versions of himself projected onto a screen behind him. The inventiveness and flow of the performance is particularly appealing, with each routine running seamlessly into the next, carried forward by some wonderfully surreal and amusing projected routines of instruments sprouting legs and walking offstage or chairs rearing like horses and galloping after the performer.

Mortimer is a multi-talented artiste, playing several instruments (sometimes at the same time), performing mime routines which make up for Gamarjobat's absence this year; and displaying excellent timing and choreography as in several moments when the screen drops and he appears, in exactly the same place & pose as an animated projected version of himself.

The Shadow Orchestra was an unexpected delight and had little - if anything - to fault. If you're looking for something clever, unique and family-friendly in the run up to the close of the Fringe, this comes highly recommended.

The Shadow Orchestra runs until Aug 30th at Universal Arts. £12 (£10 concession)

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