The Man Who is an absurd comic thriller set in a sinister private hospital, combining theatre, music and animation.
“The play’s meditations on the sense of the self are resonant and have definite depth, with a number of the images lodging themselves in the brain, obstinately refusing to budge even days after the performance.”
Peter, a patient unable to afford the fees for his treatment at a sinister private hospital, forfeits his soul in lieu of payment, and so embarks on a quest to recover it from the elusive chief doctor, Dr S. He soon becomes embroiled in a surreal bureaucratic nightmare, and encounters a string of strange and progressively more demented characters who are both the staff and patients at the hospital, among them a wildly pedantic nurse, a member of a secret vigilante sect, and two lovers happily without souls, whose feelings are tamed, measured and modified in a sequence of weird and violent operations.
The show combines an eerie soundscape, fluid performance embedded animation and anarchic live theatre to create a deliriously absorbing, narrative driven spectacle.
“Deliriously entertaining… a heady mix of eerily nightmarish mood, black humour and unpredictability, Heads Bodies Legs firmly asserts the collective talent of its cast and crew…”
– Litro Magazine. Read the full review here.
“Each of the six actors displayed moments of genius in a generously proportioned ensemble piece… thought-provoking and compelling… I was transfixed and delighted by this unusual work…”
– Remotegoat. Read the full review here.
“Sewn together tightly… unique and inventive… this show offers so much more than it says on the tin!”
– FringeReview. Read the full review here.
“Tense and hysterical… we could not help but laugh with delight…”
– A Younger Theatre. Read the full review here.
Director Ray Malone had recently graduated when she first collaborated with writer Ezra Elia in 2011. Ezra Elia had recently co-written the Radio 4 sketch show ‘A Series of Psychotic Episodes’, that process had left him with some comedy sketches more suited to the stage, and so the duo set about bringing these sketches to life. Actors were auditioned and initial readings helped the company develop the narrative of the individual sketches. Ray Malone began to work with designer Linda Toigo to illustrate moments from the script, these initiated the first experiments using illustration and animation to support the narrative and performances. August 2012 saw the first public performances of Heads Bodies Legs – the sketch show at The Space in the Isle of Dogs.
In 2013 the company continued to expand, with animator Sally Stevens, costume designer Hannah Wood, choreographer James Riordan and technician Malachy Orozco bringing their expertise to the show. In August, Heads Bodies Legs the play debuted at the Camden Fringe, receiving highly positive audience feedback and great reviews from the fringe press.
The gestation period over the last few years has allowed the company and production to develop in a number of important ways. From the experimental sketch show in 2012, to the polished production in 2013, the overall process has allowed the company to evolve a powerful and unique vision – a sparse, staccato, narrative driven theatre of the absurd.
Cast & Crew
Director: Ray Malone
Writer: Ezra Elia
John : Giles Coram
Dr S : Carolin Ott
Dr M : Lee Ravitz
The Nurse : Eleanor Jones
Louise: Sarah Winn
Animation: Linda Toigo, Sally Stevens, Rebecca Hendin
Costume and Set Design: Hannah Wood
Video: Tom O’Dwyer