The fighter still remains

The Pyramid Texts

Birmingham Rep Door

****

THE Pyramid Texts is a monologue which explores the deepest emotions of the human mind with one with an integral part to play, fear.

In this premier written with the moving voice of writer Geoff Thompson and performed by Christopher Fairbank, (Pictured)  we are exposed to the lengths that people are prepared to take to hide the emotions they truly feel in order to never reveal the secrets of their feelings.

The man we are introduced to is a boxer. With almost a lifetime of experience and an overwhelming passion for the sport, Thompson gives us a narrative to reveal the vulnerability of the human heart.  He shows an element of the basic human conflicts of the mind. The need to be a ‘warrior’, showing those about us how unaffected we are by the world around us, while fighting the inner fear is a concept that many can relate to on a daily basis.

The award winning writer presents us with an awe-inspiring intensity through his piece. He has created a character who everyone knows. The manchristopher fairbank is a boxer, now grown and retired, who knows no fear and is afraid of nothing.

Thompson beautifully reveals the wrenching secrets that the man holds inside. The emotions that people rarely see of the fear-free person who is so familiar to them. As the main topic from his work, Thompson explores the lengths that people will go to avoid looking fear in the eye. Cradled within an explosive Father-Son relationship, there is a tragic tale combined with a hint of spirituality.

The work is charged with impeccable research. Through the boxer, we hear the stories of the greatest fighters in time woven into a personal lamentation. With RADA trained Christopher Fairbank’s performance, the passion for the sport transcends the whole of the space.

Within his spectacular performance of the troubled father, we see a gripping account of the experienced boxer. First, leading a life dedicated to the ring, secondly and most importantly, we see what lies beneath the hard exterior of his character.

Fairbank portrays a bereaved character full of pride, regret, nostalgia and above all, fear, managing to capture heart-clenching emotions from start to finish a delight to watch.

He manages transitions of character and writing with ease. We see him at first a hardy, unmoved fighter who then transforms into the vulnerable and desperate mortal who has finally let what has been wrapped up inside come out into the open.

We find later that the monologue is addressed to his son. He sits in front of a video camera for the entirety of the play and delivers his monologue for the audience, but most importantly, his son.

All elements worked together to create a unique and raw harmony. The direction of Michael Vale was simple and did not was a testament to Fairbank’s superlative talent. Fairbank’s set was a stool and a punch bag in the background, purely for aesthetic purposes. It would have been a positive to see some physical movement within the direction, as the monologue was performed entirely in one sitting, which sometimes was difficult to tune in to at times.

This production presents a trio of fantastic writing, performance and direction. Each element comes together to show true human emotion in an extraordinarily vulnerable manner. It is a thought provoking piece and lets the audience think about their deepest fears, and how we will fight through it ourselves. To 30-05-15

Elizabeth Halpin

26-05-15 

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