Review: Chicken, Eva O’Connor, Ed Fringe, By Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Bouffon has to be one of my favourite art forms. Theatre meets performance art, Bouffon is a type of clowning that touches on the absurd, grotesque and taboo.

The joy I felt when I saw Chicken listed as a production and knew I had to see it. And so glad I did.

Chicken is the life story of an Irish Rooster, rescued from the depths of the chicken farms, where male chicks are killed, and thrown into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. He’s rock’n’roll, he’s glamour, he’s everything you would expect from Hollywood stardom… and in a world where it is accepted he is a bird.

Eva O’connor has us in a circular shape around her as she performs. The costume is gorgeous; in the vibrant multi-colour of a rooster, when you look closer, you can see the unusual fabrics and re-used items that make up her look – some dinosaur costume leg warmers, a elaborately fixed curtain tie for the feathered head; and this alone makes this so utterly surreal – almost like it could be the real thing until you look closer at the detail.

O’Connor perfectly embodies a rooster – not breaking this once, she moves around the space contorted and jittery like a chicken and it is unwavering. You are quite quickly and easily convinced she is a human sized rooster in front of you. And the eye contact she makes, it is never broken, it is awkward but also indulgent; you certainly cannot look away and you feel directly conversive with her.

The moments when the monologue is broken by music or times of elevated theatrical trickery; lights and physical dance to enhance drug taking or when she breaks free of her rooster colours, adds a sense of chaos and change of momentum and tact. These worked really well but it would have been quite effective if one more were added, maybe a little closer to the start to break that peaceful and relaxing pattern she had created with the circular movement and monologue.

Chicken is a really interesting comment on stardom, of working from nothing, but also love, loss and vices. It is ridiculous and bizarre, just as Bouffon should be and brilliantly cultivated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get The Chance has a firm but friendly comments policy.