HOPE | Fringe Review, London

Camden Fringe, London, 2011

HOPE, an original devised creation, powerfully portrayed the tumultuous moods of an isolated character, a remarkable Petar Miloshevski. Merging excerpts from emotionally fraught and revered texts facilitated Miloshevski’s incredibly dynamic and capable performance and acting skills. The demands of a physically and emotionally varied performance were met spectacularly as Miloshevski possessed a myriad of capable poise and sensitivity, merging supreme ability with both spoken and physical acting.

The Macedonian-born performer fluidly mastered feminine characteristics, sensually regaling a story of befallen love before lurching under the table a growling as a deranged, caged man. Flitting faultlessly between sensitivity and lunacy the performance crossed a wild spectrum from erotically charged to mania. The only shortfalls of the Milohevski’s entrancing act were moments of undefined diction and camp performance choice.



Kudos must be attributed to lighting technician Kristen Gilmore. Light strength faded and intensified revealing the changing position of Miloshevski on his lone piece of setting, a large wooden table. Strong white lights cast the solo performer menacingly in half-shadow when playing a depraved creature. Similarly, atmospheric blues and reds concentrated the stage in a reflection of the passion and morose content of Hope achieving a conspicuous atmosphere integral to the piece.



Hope suffered somewhat from a lack of dramatic empathy; whilst technically marvellous both in arrangement and performance, the piece needed to push beyond the audience barrier to produce affecting sentiment. We were undoubtedly witnessing the loan demise of an individual caught in his own pathos, the potential to truly disarm the audience, plummeting them into the demise, was sorely missed. The effect of adopted devices, such as striking single red glove and a two-chaired dining table, were interesting yet could have been utilised more. Miloshevski, for instance, could have more pointedly engaged with an empty chair (an invisible interlocutor) to strengthen his tremendously well-performed soliloquies. 



Aesthetically engaging, nigh on faultlessly performed and intelligently devised, Hope was a somersaulting display of devised fringe theatre. Selected passages from literary classics and replicating famed styles contributed to an intelligent production. Hope was paradoxically hindered by the stalwart technical precision, the audience were spectators as opposed to engaged participants in a shared experience. I was unsure whether this alienation was intentional. Nevertheless, this is piece of theatre that was original, featuring an extraordinary performance from Petar Miloshevski. I highly anticipate Quirkas’ next production.

 


Stefan Nicolaou

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