Pros: Original songs that will stay with you.
Cons: Will leave you wanting to know more details about the story!
One of my favourite venues in my neighbourhood, Battersea Arts Centre, presents Fragment – an extraordinary piece of gig-theatre. It was a first time experience for me in this specific genre – a genre that I didn’t even realise existed! It is a fusion of live music and theatrical storytelling, and was a huge hit at last year’s Fringe.
Double Fringe First winner Iron Shoes is a company that likes to shine light on unheard voices and stories, and they certainly do that here in Fragment – a truly emotional life journey.
The story takes you to Redcar, a seaside town in North Yorkshire, where signs of the collapse of the steel industry are just starting to show. We meet Lester Hall, a man stricken with heartache. Returning to his old hometown he is left to taste the bitterness of his regrets.
Battersea Arts Centre is the perfect venue to showcase the talent of the set and lighting designers. Because the building is historic and the auditoriums aren’t very spacious, a lot of clever tricks are used to bring the production to life. With Fragment we saw a backdrop of images from Redcap, and very intricate lighting to showcase the four performers, each in a different corner of the stage, and further lighting centerstage where the main scenes were taking place.
The four performers really blew my mind. Dom Coyote wrote the music and songs and performed them with incredible passion, accompanied by Milly Oldfield’s gentle and mesmerising voice. Tony Bell (who portrays Lester) and Rebecca Tebbett performed an emotionally powerful vision of young love and loss that stayed with me for days after the show.
Lester returned to his home town in the hope of finding some peace after realising that he has lost everything. The heartache he experiences after going back to the place where he fell in love takes him to hospital. On the way there he befriends a neighbour, and this chance meeting returns hope to his heart.
John Hoggarth’s writing and Dom Coyote’s music bring an incredible combination of live music and theatre. A genre that really ticks all the boxes in my opinion.
Director: Ria Perry
Writer: John Hoggarth
Songs and Music: Dom Coyote
Designer: James Button
Sound Design: John Hoggarth
Lighting Design: David W Kidd
Assistant Director: Emily Collins
Stage Manager: Rebecca Welburn
Sound Engineer: John Paul
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.