Follow Suit review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘comic and compelling’
The banking class’ ability to wreck the economy, blight the lives of others and carry on regardless with their pockets lined is wonderfully skewered in Silent Faces’ madcap Follow Suit.
A quartet of high financiers – two men and two women – sit blankly in a row at empty desks with bare lightbulbs hanging overhead. Superficial City slickness is replaced by downright schlubby tailoring – here, nothing fits and everything’s askew, despite the Brylcreem.
Gradually, these four impassive faces contort into aghast gurning and grimacing, accompanied by gargles and extensive, deflated squeaks. As the share index rises and falls, so does this bizarre group’s collective smugness and fear.
Ludicrous improvised rituals are taken up so that the signing of financial documents becomes a blasé-turned-scrabbling ballet with briefcases, set to the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Offenbach’s Can-Can provides the soundtrack for more desperate, clownish antics.
All of the performers are marvellously comic and compelling, both verbally and physically adept at animating this amoral white-collar pack. The denouement, in which metaphorical corporate crime comes to the stationery cupboard, features an abrupt change in tone that’s perhaps a little too blunt to be totally captivating. Despite that distraction, this is sterling work.
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