Avalanche Theatre Company is on a mission to uncover the lurid and murky parts of the human experience, through a series of vignettes on the themes of depression, ecstasy, addiction, and brutality. While some of these bits were successful, others need to be flushed out or expanded. This is perfect example of a new theatre using Fringe in one of the best ways possible; as an avenue to experiment and grow.
Apotheosis felt like a piece in the middle stages of development. Each of the actors in the show puts out a concept, sometimes dance, sometimes singing, sometimes a scene. The concepts themselves were the beginnings of good ideas, but often the vignettes peaked early and continued past their prime. Likewise, some of the more solid pieces, like Ryan Tumulty and Anna Lathrop’s sensual tango, made only a single appearance then disappeared entirely. The opportunity to repeat and expand was missed, leaving the show with less of an arc than it deserved. Jon Jon Johnson’s inky violin and Sarah Elizabeth Ewing’s ecstasy were the exceptions, taking advantage of repetition by creating an expansion on their respective themes.
Just as with the vignettes, the acting had its ups and down. The show opens with a question to the audience; unfortunately the question was so mumbled that I didn’t understand it. This happened a few times throughout the play, but was somewhat countered by strong singing and movement at other times.
Apotheosis was not a polished product, but true Fringers will understand the beauty of new work development , and enjoy watching a collective of talented artists discovering how their talents can work together. I recommend this piece to those Fringers that are interested in seeing how theatre can be derived by performers rather than playwrights, or those wishing to find a new company with potential in it’s growing stages.
Running time: 60 minutes.
2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘Apotheosis’ by Jon Jon Johnson.