Review: Fierce

Zulfiqar Ali 25 November 2011


ADC Lateshow, 11pm, until Sat 26th Nov


Kathryn Griffiths’ Fierce is a love child of directorial genius and energetic acting. The show promised to be unique from the start due to its one woman cast and direction unit. Thus, I had high expectations. I left thoroughly impressed and inspired.

The show started off with a bang as Kathryn emerged from the side of the audience. She jumped right into the frenzied dialogue and, instantaneously, the audience was no longer in a world based on reason; it had been transported to a land of rapid, fleeting thoughts and erratic, bewildering scenarios that Kathryn magically created.

Kathryn’s acting was mostly impeccable. The dialogue delivery was spontaneous, usually clear, suitably disjointed and mostly easily attributable to the different characters portrayed. She conducted herself with aplomb on the stage and seemed to own it. Her facial expressions and body language were amusing and captivating. Being the only actor in a play has to be stressful to say the least: however, Kathryn made it seem effortless and fun. This brilliance led to one of the members of the audience exclaiming, “I want to meet and know this person!” – I totally concur.

The acting was supplemented by good directing, and the different scenes gelled well together. This was not an easy task once one realises that the show was essentially based on streams of consciousness. Hence, Kathryn had to ensure that her scenes seemed disjointed yet not incoherent. She did so remarkably well. Thus, the spontaneous dances, scattered dialogue and even the falling vase (presumably an accident) seemed pertinent.

The costumes and props were well selected. The scene where Kathryn is tied to the bed was one of the most amusing and interesting scenes I have seen this year, the tight vest and large trousers highlighting the absurdity of the world that Kathryn had created, where contradiction is the norm and the unexpected is to be expected. The special effects, too, added to the show. The lighting was superb and the contrast of light and darkness served well to highlight the contrasts in the characters’ moods and emotional states, with the high point of the lighting effects being a scene where Kathryn blows out the lights. The music was also good and added colour to the show. However, it was excessively loud sometimes, which could be an area of improvement for the show.

Overall, Kathryn’s Fierce is definitely fierce. It is passionate, energetic, amusing, entertaining and unpredictable. In short, it is not to be missed.

Zulfiqar Ali