EARLY contenders for the most creative use of a performing space award, the KlangHaus team don't turn Summerhall's small animals hospital into a venue so much as a musical instrument. Follow your ears is the instruction as you take the lift -- or in our case the stairs -- up to the musical mystery tour that has an underground feel in more ways than one.
And without wishing to give too much away, your ears will take you into a suite of rooms that house a suite of sounds, some almost industrial, some just a little bit eerie, some downright romantic and some from the post-punk school of kerrang and thunder. A disembodied voice sings as a pianist mysteriously appears to lend belated accompaniment. A musical saw adds its sympathetic cry to a childlike ballad. Drummers drum. Basses pulse. Guitars chortle. And the open, long unoccupied, spot-lit cages sit there as if in accusation.
This might not be for the claustrophobic but it's an adventure utterly in the spirit of the Fringe and as the pied pipers lead their followers towards a very cleverly executed denouement, they leave their nursery rhyme-simple final chant hanging in the air and in all likelihood stuck in your inner ear for a good while afterwards.
JOURNEY with us now, back to the Plaza in Oxted, where a young
Stilgoe's enthusiasm is infectious and he and his bass and drums team make an hour pass very quickly indeed, involving the audience all along the way and adding catchy original lines about popcorn to film themes mad, moving and verging on the bonkers. Genuine unashamed entertainment -- as well as some rather fine singing and playing -- for all the family.
DECLAN Zapala has given the percussive guitar-playing style pioneered by
Like others who have taken the percussive route, he can sacrifice satisfying compositional form and emotional resolution at the altar of hands everywhere trickery, but there's a certain balletic quality in his playing that holds the attention and he tempers his technical proficiency with an approachable onstage manner.