Bedlam Theatre
1-15 August, 16.00

Hou HouThis poignantly beautiful and devastatingly funny play is a devised piece brought to the Fringe by Babolin Theatre Company. The Cambridge based group have been bringing acts to the festival for four years and have built up a solid reputation. This year they have outdone themselves.

Tackling a new Zola-inspired script, written by the director Richard Fredman, can be no mean feat, and when one learns that the cast are fresh out of A-levels it becomes all the more impressive.

The play is the acted out parable, told by the lead chorus member to impress on us the inherent ruin of humankind, as pre-destined by the fateful rhythm –hou hou shahou- that flows through our veins. The chorus is made up of a group of ‘washerwomen’ who step out to play various characters in the narrative, which tells the tale of the inevitable fall of a poor, young Parisian woman.

The play is carried by an eerie theme tune and the moments of spontaneous musical outbursts are what give the performance its edge. The cast make impressive use of the stage and props to create powerful images and settings. At times the plot was lost in verse but not enough to detract from the powerful crescendo.

One of the most inventive and exciting pieces of theatre you are likely to see at this year’s Fringe.

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