Voloz Collective is known for its experiments in physical theatre, and after The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much, they returned to the Fringe with a completely different performance.
The Life Sporadic of Jesse Wildgoose is a coming-of-age story set in the world of finance during the famous 2007-2008 crisis. However, the story is not very conducive to a physical theatre performance, unlike The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much, which blends thriller, adventure, and comedy seamlessly. The Life Sporadic of Jess Wildgoose centres around the journey of Jess Wildgoose, a young American idealist who ventures to New York City with aspirations of finding success in the bustling financial district. Throughout her odyssey, she becomes entangled with the wolves of Wall Street, absorbing life’s profound lessons from these economic powerhouses. In an intriguing transformation, Jess evolves into a she-wolf, embodying the traits she initially encountered. However, the narrative takes a darker turn as Jess grapples with the overwhelming weight of her moral degradation and ultimately succumbs to it.
However, The Life Sporadic of Jess Wildgoose, particularly in the first part, progresses quite slowly and needs a clear direction. The collective mentioned at the beginning that they had a technical issue with the suitcases used throughout the performance as essential props, but one wonders how much that would have indeed changed. Indeed, physical theatre seems ill-suited for this type of story and appears to suffer as a result. Despite a quicker pace in the second part, the performance could be more cohesive, with a significant shift in rhythm and content. The very themes related to finance remain a wordy stew in the mouths of the actors, and their self-irony isn’t enough to make them more easily digestible.
Nonetheless, the performers remain pleasant presences on stage, always bright and well-prepared, making the performance worthwhile. It’s a real shame, especially for those familiar with the collective’s work and know that they can do much more – as demonstrated by The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much, a small gem in their repertoire.
Reviewer: Anna Chiari
Reviewed: 22nd August 2023
North West End UK Rating: