ZOO at St Cuthberts
Sunday 7th August 22.00
We spend a long time wading through the Edinburgh Fringe brochure searching for interesting looking shows. Two are certain
to attract our attention, one being site-specific. Generally, this indicates an interesting theatrical space even if sometimes the
show itself may be dull (though often it doesn’t).
We can’t claim to know about Bulgakov’s “The Master And Margarita” but the setting of St Cuthbert’s churchyard proved too
enticing to be missed.
I was expecting it to take place outside the church but as the rain was pouring down I was delighted it all took place indoors.
These events can be nerve-wracking for the audience but the instructions were always clear and concise and we were
never asked to do anything we weren’t comfortable with.
The downside of these event, especially in churches, is that the acoustics aren’t always great. In a piece where you don’t
know the plot well it did get a little confusing, especially as there were 2 different stories being told here. However, the
Sleepless Theatre company did such a good job of providing visual spectacle and interesting scenarios that you never lost
interest in the story.
The cast is uniformally excellent but what was unexpectedly impressive was the quality of musicanship throughout. Music is an integral part of the production and the harmonies produced at the climax of the piece produced a truly magical moment and a tear to my eye.
I can’t claim that I fully understood the nuances of the plot but that didn’t matter. Artistic Director Helena Jackson ensured that there was more than enough going on in front of you to keep your attention and helped to create a highly enjoyable and unique Edinburgh event.
The fact that I had a great time despite thinking as it started that I had lost my mobile phone, (which I later recovered) only proved what a great job everyone involved with the show did..
Well done to all concerned.