Camden Fringe: Intuit This at Camden People’s Theatre
London’s answer to the Edinburgh Festival, the Camden Fringe is now in its eighth year bringing comedy, theatre, dance and much, much more to 17 venues across the borough. The festival continues to grow into a formidable alternative due its unpredictable nature and eclectic mix of seasoned performers with burgeoning talent.
Relative newcomers Intuitive Creatures fall into the latter category having only formed last year. Performing in the intimate space at the Camden People’s Theatre, their latest show Intuit This is the absurd odyssey of a renegade criminal across Europe and a celebration of human fragility and foolishness in their unusual brand of sketch comedy.
The charm in experiencing this production is never having the chance to second-guess where it might be headed next. And yet its cheerful spontaneity has been meticulously executed, with each character developed to such an extent that every little movement, whether a trembling finger, knowing smirk or raised eyebrow, hints at an intricate backstory.
All four actors have been trained at the internationally acclaimed LISPA and their fascinating take on physical theatre, with leanings to Jacques Lecoq’s teachings on the art of clowning, is impressive to say the least. Chiara Goldsmith’s bee with his hilarious penchant for bebop and scat jazz is devilishly charming, while the evolution of Paula Saenz de Valluerca’s Renata exemplifies the company’s collective ability to transform their faces and very physicality into these over-the-top creations.
It’s not all about the absurd, as the company correctly asserts: “Sometimes the grotesque can be more truthful than the ordinary.” Intuit This might not play up to the outrageous as much as some of their previous shows, but Intuitive Creatures’ sharp understanding of human oddity continues to persist to humorous effect.
This is perhaps why their contemporary observations get the most laughs: Goldsmith and Roisin O’Mahony’s Daisy and Rosie will have you in stitches, and their resemblance to the genuine articles is uncanny. Then there’s Daniel Onslow’s Steven, whose initially uplifting talk on “worries and concerns” descends into a powerfully awkward ballad about masculinity, which will hit home with some members of the audience much to their other half’s amusement.
Although the laughs are riotous and the performances exaggerated, Intuitive Creatures’ sense of pace and comedic timing, along with their studied physical characterisation, ensures a winning formula. The result is surreal and at times cringe-worthy, but altogether truly in the spirit of Fringe.
Intuit This is at the Camden People’s Theatre until 16th August 2013. For further information or to book visit the festival’s website here.