dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Fox Symphony review at Battersea Arts Centre, London – ‘lo-fi, witty and warm’

Fox Symphony at Battersea Arts Centre, London. Photo: Jessica Harvey Fox Symphony at Battersea Arts Centre, London. Photo: Jessica Harvey
by -

Made-up like a fox, with face-paint just a shade more orange than a TOWIE tan, Foxy & Husk (it’s just one person, performance artist Isolde Godfrey) is more cutesy than vulpine. But, like a fox, she’s a scavenger and what she’s collected is an assortment of stories and songs about identity in Britain.

Through a slightly ramshackle mixture of video projection and precise lip-syncing Foxy creates her own lo-fi ‘symphony’, beginning with the National Anthem, whose rousing pomposity is immediately pricked by Led Zeppelin’s screaming, bawling Immigrant Song.

Although the show claims to be about identity, certain sections – such as a rendition of Pulp’s Common People in an RP accent – suggest that it’s more about class and the tension between authenticity and performance: we all perform our class to an extent.

As she lip-syncs, Foxy adds mannerisms and facial expressions that characterise the voices. From a lovely old Scottish man to a woman munching on Bombay Mix, it’s easy to forget that it’s all delivered by a person got up like Basil Brush. In no small part that’s due to Foxy’s extravagant costumes and extraordinary hats, all drawing on different cultures.

The irony of delivering someone else’s words about identity while hiding behind an animal mask is clearly not lost on Foxy; it’s precisely this mismatch between these very human stories, and the not-quite-human facade that gives the show its meaning.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Lo-fi, witty and warmly performed exploration of class and identity
^