Pros: Feelings and emotions are evoked by striking body language.
Cons: The pace of the performance is dependent upon several costume and set changes.
Familie Flöz returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the third time with their signature formula of striking body language and stunning handmade masks. This time, they delight the sold-out Pleasance Grand with Infinita, a collection of vignettes that look at the first and last moments of life with a winning combination of slapstick comedy and emotional inserts.
Shifting back and forth from a nursery to a nursing home highlights the circular nature of human existence, whilst celebrating the everlasting power of love and friendship. Four mischievous toddlers are seen wobbling around, surrounded by gigantic furniture, whilst they play and compete for the same toys. Fast forward to the other end of life, and we find four elderly men – who we assume to be the same characters – still bickering to preserve their private space. Their weakened bodies are once again in an unstable state.
An enduring cast of four (Björn Leese, Benjamin Reber, Hajo Schüler and Michael Vogel) are in charge of this plethora of characters, as well as all the set changes, reiterating the close-knit fabric of this family-like theatre company. Sharing a variety of skills, each member doubles up as a musician, acrobat or mask-maker in a fascinating creative process that recalls the old tradition of travelling troupes.
Hajo Schuler’s stunning masks are brought to life by evocative lighting which stimulates our imagination to the point that we could swear we can see them stretching and frowning. A piano and a cello are played live on stage, to ensure that music and movement follow the same wavelength.
The non-verbal language brings together a multitude of classic genres and allows Infinita to reach a universal audience, which noticeably responds to the familiar feelings and emotions evoked in each scene. Travelling around the world since 2006, this is one of the company’s most established performances and I urge everyone not to miss this powerhouse when it comes to London.
Devised and Performed by: Björn Leese, Benjamin Reber, Hajo Schüler and Michael Vogel
Directed by: Hajo Schüler and Michael Vogel
Producer: Familie Flöz with Admiralspalast and Theaterhaus Stuttgart
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.