NB: This review is based on the 2017 version, which took place at Venue 13. The artist has informed us that the show has undergone extensive development, ahead of its 2018 return to the Fringe.
Ouroboros at Venue 13 has the potential to be something great, but currently lacks breadth.
For a debut solo piece, Charlotte Fox has done incredibly well. She engages the audience with her energetic performance, looking confident and comfortable on stage. She moves with ease, transforming into the different characters quickly and convincingly. The choreography is slick, with Fox’s skill as a physical performer shining through, and she performs with unwavering belief in the message of the show.
Fox embodies multiple characters, performing lightning quick changes behind a red curtain. She physicalizes these characters brilliantly, but the characters – as a whole – seem shallow and a little too similar to each other. It is clear that Fox has the talent to transform herself into multiple personas, and I would have liked to see a bigger range, something that made each character unique.
There’s a macabre atmosphere to the whole performance, from the gothic set to her large facial expressions, and a feeling of uncertainty and darkness patters through the piece. Fox’s dexterity in creating drama is apparent, and there is not a slow moment in the show, albeit for a slightly confusing dream sequence.
My fear, however, is that the show lacks accessibility. It is an incredibly personal piece, based on Fox’s own experiences of body dysmorphia and the pressures growing up as a dancer, but it runs the risk of feeling too one-sided. If discussing a social issue that affects so many people, particularly the young, Fox could benefit from exploring experiences from different economic backgrounds. Her frequent references to chia seeds and quinoa are recognisable, and the in-jokes about Nottinghill and yoga classes are funny, but it feels too much like a private joke for the few, not for the many. There must also be an awareness of the privilege she is representing onstage: to have access to super foods, being able to afford yoga classes, living in London – they are taken for granted, which again, can make the show isolating. Currently, the show sits in too niche a market, but there is certainly potential for it to be a powerful commentary on modern society with more development.