Monday, March 26, 2007


Title:Mr. Sole Abode
Company: Madrugada
Venue:Lyric Hammersmith, London, 17th March 2007

Mr. Sole Abode is the first piece of physical theatre from the new Madrugada theatre group. A one man show by Leo Kay, about the character Mr. Sole Abode who lives in a fridge in the street. As the piece starts Sole is already in the fridge on the limited performance area. With dawn, he crawls out of it, agonises to stand up straight after such a confined position, one of the drawn out and repeated pieces of humour through out the performance. Spotting his audience he regales us with wonderful tales of his life. Mr. Abode is passionate about his food, even if he exists now on scraps of bread he toasts over his disposable lighter. He drools at the mouth telling us about the food he has eaten, the food he has prepared. Through the play he starts each monologue with his thoughts on food, gradually working round to his career as an architect. He boasts about some of the wonders he has designed, then some of the projects he has been asked to contribute to, projects for the greater good, projects that just scared him too much. Never really quite getting round to how if he is so wonderful, why it is he is now living in a fridge in the street, even if the fridge has been cunningly converted. Though the truth has a way of coming out in the end.

Comedy and tragedy Leo Kay keeps his audience going, dominating the stage with his solo presence. Though between the fridge and the table top city, it is clear collaborators Faulty Optic, who did the puppet show Soiled that I saw when I was in London in January, also have prominent contribution to the success of the piece. The fridge recalls the stage of Soiled, with its fold out pieces, the concealed arm chair, the pop out record player. The table top city mirrors that of Soiled, though here it is a demonstration of design and scale rather than a miniature landscape for characters to move through.

At an hour long Mr. Sole Abode is short, sharp and memorable, and we were glad that we managed to battle our way from the apparent black spot of trainlessness that is Notting Hill to Hammersmith in time to catch the last night of the run.

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