The Glee Club, Beatrice on the Frankfurt Express

Review in Issue 9-1 | Spring 1997

Beatrice on the Frankfurt Express was a series of sketches examining, in a light-hearted way, the nature of train travel. Billed as a ‘special blend of comic visual theatre’ it was sadly neither funny nor particularly theatrical. The reason for this is difficult to pinpoint but rests, I believe, in the company’s unwillingness to embrace a central paradox of performance – that an audience wants to see actors perform not to see the ‘real people’ behind the characters on stage.

The performers played with all possible stage mechanics – trapdoors, screens and curtains. On top of all this they also introduced the idea of performers as ‘innocents’ – stumbling onto the stage, baffled and confused by its rules with hilarious consequences.

Unfortunately, the outcome was a company permanently strained. Behind every moment, and this was a show of ‘moments’, lay a desperate sense of effort – a plea to be liked or, at least, forgiven. Watching performers begging is never a pretty sight and, if this discomfort was the point of the show, I was left wondering why?

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-1
p. 22