Atomic Clock Presents: Elephants at Little Man Coffee Company, Cardiff.


A Review by Melissa Compton.

Atomic Clock presented Elephants to a small intimate audience in Cardiff this evening. Written by Niall Farman, Elephants is the representation of ‘Squirrel’ A young man with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder explaining and recounting his short life and the traumatic event that led him to where he is now. The performance is an immersive experience from start to finish.

The Canton born Deborah Rigg gave an outstanding emotional performance, with power and intensive expression at key points in the dialogue. Deborah’s interaction with the audience enhanced her portrayal of ‘Squirrel’, which was convincing as she conveyed the struggles he has faced and continues to face.

There are a couple of things that make this performance unique, first is the dialogue use of elephants to emphasize key points such as travelling speeds. The second and main thing that makes this performance unique is the structure and environment including audience participation from the moment the audience were led to the basement room where the performance was being held. With chairs arranged in a circle around a presentation board. Once seated the audience were requested to write name labels out and stick them on. The performance then start’s and the audience has been initiated as the therapy group for ‘Squirrel’ as he bares his soul.

The use of both writing and props is very intelligent, with drawings to enhance the explanations of drug names. Timing of dialogue is key in the performance and was very moving. The performance gives a personal reflection of mental health issues in a moving and thoughtful way concentrating on loss, memories and failure of systems and people around the character of ‘Squirrel’.

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