Live Art super-group make a come-back that promises a return to their roots, as the original duo get back up and riff on Old Abe.

Article by Gareth K Vile | 29 Sep 2009

The return of Fish and Game to active duty makes Trillions the headline show at The Arches festival. Having been one of the most high-profile of the young companies that sit between Live Art and traditional drama, their confidence, intelligence and ambition sets them apart from their peers. Trillions is explicitly a work towards a large scale production. Owing a debt to Forced Entertainment's recently paired-down Spectacular, Eilidh MacAskill and Robert Walton imagine a show that takes in Abraham Lincoln's assassination, the nature of evil and the majesty of the human body. They visualise teams of cheerleaders and crowds of actors to conjure up a lively hour of angular political comment and meditations on how violence breeds violence. The warm humour, especially from Walton, makes a welcome digression from direction and academia, and ensures that Trillions is accessible without diluting the points about excuses for bad behaviour. MacAskill's skill as a mime has increased, possibly due to her Daily Ukelele touring; Walton makes effective use of his lecturing experience to calm and amuse. Even as the events spiral out of control – a president is killed, a battle between hats and gloves is promised – the relaxed atmosphere invites the audience to laugh and reflect. Fish and Game sidestep melodrama and obvious America-bashing for a nuanced study of the possible impact of Lincoln's death on American culture, without ever becoming portentous or simplistic. Direct, immediate and witty, Trillions explains why Fish and Game can cross over to proscenium theatres and not loose their distinct identity.