Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fringe 08: Robinson Crusoe

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Robinson Crusoe: All Washed Up

Fergus Rougier (England/Germany)

A man emerges from under an enormous blue blanket into a howling void to tell a tale of isolation, self-reliance, and the anthropological ethics of cannibalism. Yeah, we are definitely at the Fringe.

Ferfus Rougierâ??s one-man musicalization of Daniel Defoeâ??s classic adventure story (donâ??t worry if youâ??ve never read the book, neither has he) is the kind of show that could never survive in a commercial venue â?? and thank god for that. For the first 5 minutes I was transfixed by Rougierâ??s spindly legs, squeezed into improbable striped knee pants. For the next 5, I was fascinated by his gangling, contorted physicality; he embodies a unique movement quality somewhere between pantomime and modern dance, settling on a mixture of a Cirque du Soleil strongman and Ed Grimley. And all that was even before he started playing â??We Are the Championsâ?� and â??What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailorâ?� on his accordion.

As the initial disorientation abated (it never completely disappeared) a kind of stage-bound Stockholm Syndrome set in, rendering me incapable of evaluating the show by any rational gauge. Are Roguierâ??s perplexing persona and yowling vocalizations serious or slyly sarcastic? Are the pop-culture references to Castaway and Hannibal Lecter indicative of po-mo self-awareness or media-addled mania? Are avant-garde appreciating adults his target audience, or developmentally-delayed adolescents? Is this the worst Fringe show Iâ??ve seen this year, or the best? I have no fucking clue. I just know that, while often bizarre and befuddling, Rougierâ??s show is never banal or boring. If youâ??re prepared for the most unconventional hour youâ??ll find at Fringe, go see Robinson Crusoe and decide for yourself just what the hell it is.

Green Venue

60 minutes

$10 (Discounts: none)

Remaining Performances:

5/21 WED 9:20PM

5/23 FRI 11:59PM

5/25 SUN 6:00PM

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