Here’s the idea: global warming has led to the extinction of the Winter Olympics. But the two unbeaten World Ice Figure Skating champions Heap and Pebble decide this is not going to stop them bringing their art and their entertainment to the masses.
And so they prepare for the world’s first no ice ice dance. It’s an engaging idea to begin with but the execution is sublime.
The two actors, Thomas Eccleshare and Valentina Ceschi, have created something which I predict will win a lot of awards. It achieves something that so many comic inventions fail to reach, poignancy and pathos.
The audience (including myself) start by laughing at these two painfully dedicated ice skaters desperately trying to overcome these impossible obstacles but as the scenes play out and their undaunted efforts and focussed energy are revealed the audience begins to feel uneasy about mocking the genuine efforts of these two extraordinary characters. The audience’s laughter becomes nervous as disdain and derision mutates into admiration and respect.
The play, the acting, the whole performance is a remarkable invention, a collection of dualisms; a tower of whimsy but also a beacon of hope, a funny story and a desperate tale, a story of obsession and freedom.
I strongly urge anyone who has not seen this play to go and see it now, it will begin selling out and I predict it will become one of the big hits of this years Fringe. Run, run now to the booking office.
Times: Everyday except 17 and 24 August, 7.10pm.