And Then The Rodeo Burned Down
This show was my ‘one that got away’ of 2022. Having gathered an impressive buzz around it during the course of the festival and going on to win the Fringe First Award for Outstanding New Writing, it has been touring to acclaim ever since. Within a few minutes of the opening – an odd, edgy and endearing tears-of-the-clown synchronised routine set to Dolly Parton’s 9-5 – it was easy to see why audiences have reacted so positively. What follows is a tightly choreographed and original performance that creates its own unique blend of comedy, drama, physical theatre and fourth wall breaking meta-commentary. Chloe Rice and Natasha Roland work so seamlessly together it becomes almost impossible to know where one ends and the other begins. Whilst the characters, and perhaps even Rice and Roland themselves, are world weary and old before their years, the show has a vigour and unpredictability that keeps the audience on it’s toes and the energy high. The cigarettes are fake, but the fire is real.
All words by Susan Sloan.