Big State Theatre Company, Fetch

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

‘Did all this really happen or is it too far-fetched?’ asks our heroine at the end of the piece. Well, whether it did or it didn’t doesn’t seem to matter in this high-energy, fast-moving journey through the obsessive world of animal-loving. Fetch is a three-hander performed by a hugely talented cast who don the characters of what must be at least half a dozen personae each throughout the piece.

It’s the story of Lula, a female pet-sitter, who is found floating out at sea (girl on a buoy) by the crew of a passing submarine who then make it their business to interrogate her. Through flashbacks we learn that she has been given the job of pet-sitter to a mad woman (Mrs Thing) who seems determined to own an example of every known animal.

In a wild kaleidoscopic journey that employs elements of Alice in Wonderland and Noah’s Ark, the company also use digital video and live film projection beautifully to advance the plot and supply filmed backgrounds. In this there’s a nod to the techniques of the Brittonioni Brothers, but Big State use their filmic moments more as a way of showing us what’s going on elsewhere in the awful claustrophobic world they inhabit. The design is particularly inventive: a vast grey and pink cityscape set is cut through with doors and cupboards that are satisfyingly employed throughout the show, and the exaggerated costumes also come in shades of pink and grey. There’s more than a touch of Tenniel in the costume designs with Lula and Mrs Thing resonating echoes of Alice and the Red Queen respectively.

Fetch is a delightful night at the theatre – highly recommended for both animal and theatre lovers alike.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 31