Perfection @ C Nova

Review by Christine Lawler | 27 Aug 2014

Hungry People Theatre bring a powerful one man show to Edinburgh Fringe with Perfection, a raw performance that questions everything. Writer and director Jung Han Kim plays guitar, sings, and welcomes people as they enter, creating a relaxed atmosphere with which to start the piece. The choice to base the performance in a small room, where the audience is close to the performer, is inspired and creates real sense of intimacy.

Jon Castro's portrayal of the man with only 6 months to live is immense. His energy is incredible from beginning to end, and he engages brilliantly with the audience, pulling them into his world. His spinning against the wall trying to find the answers to love makes for a bizarre and yet powerful opening sequence. The performance soars from there as he journeys through varying emotions, portraying what goes on inside a person's head when they face their own mortality. There is humour intercut within it, especially while writing words on the wall behind him. The decision to leave each word unfinished is a nice touch, indicating the imperfection in everything and the belief that he himself is not yet finished.

Castro jumps from question to question, emotion to emotion with ease, not for a second feeling contrived. There are a lot of topics covered, such as love, forgiveness, faith and fear, yet it is done is such a way that, even at quite a frantic pace, the ideas are still coherent and relatable. Even as he discusses God, it is relatable to believers and non-believers, questioning this being, hating him even, yet needing something to believe in.

Perfection is utterly engaging, moving, and leaves the audience with strong imagery to take away with them. The play showcases excellent work from Kim and Castro, who both have strong careers ahead of them, if they maintain this standard of performance. With their profits going directly to charity to feed the hungry – hence the company name – they prove to have even more heart than is portrayed on stage.

Perfection, C Nova, run ended