An innovative piece of theatre from Curious Detective, in Frogman the audience becomes the jury. In 1995, Ashley goes missing at sea and her closest friend at the time, eleven year old Meera, seems to have no idea what happened. Twenty two years later the case is reopened after new evidence is discovered on the sunken boat Ashley had last been on. Discover the evidence which outlines Meera and Ashley’s friendship and the relationships between their families and decide for yourself what really happened.
Frogman has an expectant premise, a tense story and an intriguing execution. Played out in part using virtual reality, where each audience member wears a headset and headphones, the show aims to immerse its audience into the story to create a captivating experience. It is clever in its ambitious plan to bring VR to the Fringe and Curious Detective appear to have thought of every solution to ease the audiences into the new technology and blend it with traditional theatre.
However, the result is not entirely successful. The capabilities of Virtual Reality are astounding but it is still a growing technology – one which does not lend itself well to the filming or showing of real people. We are left with a low resolution version of something that would have been better suited to actors on a stage anyway.
What strengthens this show is Tessa Parr’s performance. Convincing and perfectly timed, Parr brings the story together and captures the audience. Frogman’s deeper message, which links the Great Barrier Reef with family and relationships in the modern world, is an important one with good intentions but is sadly a little lost behind the technology.
Words: Nastassia Sutherland
Frogman, Traverse @Codebase, Aug 11-27 (not 14, 22, 23, 24, 25), times vary