Tangled Adulthood

There have been many Fringe shows which focus on the theme of 'adulting'. Namely, on what it is to be stuck between study and a promising career, or renting and owning a house, or being single and raising a family, and the central anxiety about not doing these things in their timely, orderly manner.

These are all uninteresting problems, partly because they reflect an unnecessary pre-occupation with the opinions of newspaper columnists (who nobody really listens to anyway), but mostly because these are problems so common that there is little opportunity for art to contribute any significant insight to them.

Tangled Adulthood is refreshing in comparison to such shows in that it is not so much about adulting as it is, per the title, about adulthood. Doing the same thing over and again because it's what you do. Being exasperated with your friends and loved ones when they're in need, because you know how difficult it can be to truly help a person. Finding intimacy with someone, but still having difficulty understanding and communicating with them despite their, and your, best efforts.

It also helps that all of this is expressed in an abstract fashion, by way of choreographed dance, live music, and some light acting. The acting is fine, but it was the dance and the music which truly surprised me, and had me sit up and take notice. Special mention goes to one particular scene in which Stephanie Osztreicher struggles against the pull and flow of what appears to be, sometimes sequentially and sometimes simultaneously, gravity, water and wind. It's a powerful metaphor which serves as the fulcrum of the whole piece, and if every scene had been developed with such ingenuity and care this would have been an amazing show.

As it was it just something quite solid. Do check it out if you're after an enveloping, tranquil, trance-like experience which explores a common experience without spoken words or references to tired platitudes.

★★★