Pre / post shows talks
A review of the show contributed by a University of Plymouth student as part of the Theatre’s Student Review Scheme.
Tuesday 31st March 2009.
Staged in the Theatre Royal’s contemporary and innovative sibling space The Drum Theatre, Cobbo promises to be an exhilarating performance even before the first strains of saxophone herald the opening scene.
Co-Produced by THEATRE ALIBI and EXETER PHOENIX, Cobbo is set between the blurring boundaries of an urban city and its meandering riverside, telling the tender story of Annie (Jordan Whyte) an intensely lonely young librarian who finds companionship and solace from an unlikely source, Cobbo the swan (Craig Edwards). An equally innocent yet odd pairing at first, with a seamless shift from puppetry to acting Cobbo soon emerges as an altogether quite human character, professing a love for fine wines, cheese and of course Shreddies. As we witness Annie and Cobbo effortlessly fall in love, embracing tenderly as human limb and snowy feathers entwine, poignantly undistinguishable from each other, the plot takes some surreal and unexpected twists. Even so, with its seamless blend of laugh out loud humour melting into moments of heart touching sadness, Theatre Alibi exceed their reputation as crafted storytellers and make it seem the most natural thing in the world to find true love in swan – form.
Craig Edwards gives an absolutely stunning performance as the graceful and proud male swan, his impeccably considered movements and characteristics paired with the minimalistic stage props solidifying Cobbo as an entirely unique character. An undeniably original and odd-ball tale, Annie and Cobbo’s romance is set on a beautifully stylised and versatile white stage that constantly foregrounds the grace and circularity of the play. Accompanied by an entirely live score, choreographed lighting also throws mysterious shadows across the theatre, creating an entirely youthful, fresh and enchanting production.
- Maxine Aylett, English BA (Hons)