What is theatre all about? Stephanie Morin-Robert Performance Society: Bushel and Peck, a guest 12thnight review by Todd Babiak

Stephanie Morin-Robert and Alastair Knowles in Bushel and Peck. Photo by Thadeus Hink

Stephanie Morin-Robert Performance Society: Bushel and Peck (Stage 4, Academy at King Edward)

Audiences can be so demanding. Before a piece of perfectly absurd performance art you can almost smell the question roasting in their brains: “What does it mean?”

It would be uncharitable to call Bushel and Peck meaninglessness. It is, instead, a funny and winning and kooky search for meaning in a world — even a theatre tradition — that makes meaning too easy.

Or something.

To describe Bushel and Peck too rigorously would ruin its charm. Stephanie Morin-Robert and Alastair Knowles are Fringe stars who push themselves, in Bushel and Peck, to the fringes of the festival with a good, unanswerable question: what is theatre all about?

They take it apart in inventive costumes, with playful use of sound and light, with a script flying everywhere, with Muppet voices, small appliances, and a hunk of plywood that deserves an award for “prop of the festival.”

Now that we are a few days and, hopefully, several shows into the festival, Bushel and Peck is a refreshing slice of pickled ginger between heavy slabs of theatrical sushi, a reminder of what we’re all here for.

Todd Babiak







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