What's He Building in There? @ Zoo
STaG hit the nail right on the head with What's He Building in There? While the show is billed as a comedy, laughs are few and far between. But the problem goes no further than this mislabelling. This strange tale of one man's rejection of worldly values is exceptionally well told.
The actors hover between normality and madness, and show that sometimes madness is normality. The tension is always there, the characterisation superb. The themes are the little tragedies of everyday life for too many people: sadness, alienation and financial troubles. The lack of alternatives, of finding love and humanity, and even space in this bitter old world, are apparent.
As well as clashing with his controlling and conventional partner, the Palinesque hero has to grapple tooth and nail with false friends and self-defined philanthropists. And while his triumph is satisfying it is overcast by his derangement. A live instrumental score adds to an atmosphere which ranges from just awkward to terrifying.