WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE? Vaults Festival RUNTIME: 60 minutes (no interval)
WHEN? 10/3/19 (press review ticket)
‘We saw that you recently reviewed Cost of Living at the Hampstead. Our show deals with similar themes – disability, carers, family – and we wondered if you might be interested in reviewing?’
- Read on for reasons including how to find out whether Dangerous Giant Animals is playing near you
Review tickets come about in many different ways and this invitation arrives via Twitter after @NeilDurham is followed by @DGAPlay – and we return the favour.
This is our 1st visit to the VAULT Festival, which is running beneath Waterloo station, and we wish we’d been invited to it earlier because it’s a hotbed of interesting looking shows which catch our eye. We haven’t been to the Edinburgh Festival since, whisper it, 1993 but it feels a lot like that albeit more self contained and, ahem, underground.
Dangerous Giant Animals is an hour-long monologue written by and starring Christina Murdock about growing up with a sister who has severe physical and learning difficulties.
But it’s also about growing up too quickly, feeling responsible for holding a family together and, ultimately, quite how exhausting and provoking caring for another human being can be.
Murdock moves seamlessly between stage and an aisle with the audience sitting on either side as she stacks and dismantles the simple building blocks which give a sense of the children’s world in which we are paying a visit.
Murdock is Claire and tells us about growing up with the younger Kayla who struggles to communicate but whose unfiltered honesty is admired by those who look after her.
Christina is a member of the Royal Court Theatre’s Writers Group and even allows herself moments here to show what a powerful opera singer she can also be.
Dangerous Giant Animals has won numerous awards and made us think as well as moving us at its emotional and heartfelt conclusion.
We return to our Twitter message after the performance and it concludes: ‘We’re on at the VAULT Festival from March 6-10 following an award-winning run at Ed Fringe – and we’re working hard to ensure a future life for the show. Our goal is to eventually be in a position to reach out to underprivileged communities around the UK (and the world!).’
It’s a show – no pun intended – which is crying out to be seen and heard. Christina even invites us at its conclusion to meet her in the bar afterwards to talk it over.
Check out the tickets link towards the end of this review for where to seek this cathartic experience out next.