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Grief and fluff: Tiger @OmnibusTheatre

Death is something we all will face. After all, nobody gets out of here alive. But how do you get past it when grief is all you can feel? And this is the premise of Tiger, currently playing at Omnibus Theatre . It's a fascinating exploration of the stages of grief. And with a terrific cast to take you on this journey, it's an endearing and sweet story that has you engaged from the start, wondering what will happen next.  We are introduced to Alice (Poppy Allen-Quarmby) as she gives a stand-up routine. It's not particularly funny and starts to veer into the topic of dying. Something isn't right. She used to be good at this but can't move forward. Soon, she is back in her London apartment with her partner Oli (Luke Nunn), discussing that they need to get a lodger to make ends meet.  Oli is a doctor working night shifts at the local NHS hospital. Alice is not ready to face a return to stand up or anything. So when the first potential lodger arrives (Meg Lewis), looking

What does the fox say: Run The Beast Down @Finborough

It is a hedonistic and hectic life in this one-hander about a man called Charlie. He can't sleep. He lost his job and there is this fox following him about. It's playing now at the Finborough Theatre.

Played by Ben Aldridge, you are never quite sure what is real and illusory. But there's a thrilling and pulsating soundtrack by Chris Bartholomew underscoring the madness that makes it a trip worth taking down the foxhole.

It opens with Charlie finding that his girlfriend has left him and he lost his city job. He is living in a partially gentrified council estate and the neighbours cat has gone missing. But after that things begin to get a bit weird. The nights become something for his imagination to run wild. Soon paranoia, fear and destruction take over.

Aldridge holds your attention throughout as he becomes a confusing and delusional narrator. At times he speaks directly at you. His Charlie is earnest. Honest. And maybe just plain nuts.

The production looks great as well. Simple staging with a bare floor and bars. But Charlie uses a chalk pen to mark out (like a fox) the seven stages of Charlie's state of mind.

Lighting designers Rob Mills and Robbie Butler keep things on edge with their shifting colours and movement.

The music, lighting and performance come together as a breathtaking spectacle of fear and craziness in the city.

Watching the piece as Charlie becomes obsessed about a fox who is talking to him reminded me of a neighbour. This neighbour developed a strange evening routine of heading out to the square and feeding the local foxes slices of cooked sirloin. Which he bought from Marks and Spencer. Maybe there is something about city life that does something to people. Particularly if you're a bit of an insomniac.

Written by Titas Halder and directed by Hannah Price, Run The Beast Down is at the Finborough Theatre until 25 February.


Photo credit: production photos.

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