Your local library. A quiet, serene haven of creativity, information and the everyday practice of harvesting bodily fluids from the world’s greatest minds in order to conceive a gifted child.
Sound a bit odd? Welcome to the twisted world of PIT, an up-and-coming company specialising in surreal stories told through a cocktail of multimedia, puppetry and total theatre.
‘Comings and Goings at the Municipal Library’, the latest offering from the Hertfordshire-based group, is a piece of new writing by co-founder David Byrne, the brains behind 2004’s award winning sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show ‘OFSTED! The Musical’.
The new play, which premiered in a rough-and-ready form at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in London in November, follows a scheming librarian who conspires to blackmail sperm from a prominent academic within the confines of a library-cum-laboratory.
The action is punctuated by awkward physical comedy, dark humour and a collection of idiosyncratic characters who wouldn’t be out of place in The League of Gentlemen’s nightmare town of Royston Vasey.
With minimal set and few props to work with, this was a chance to see a production very much in its infancy.
The hour-long script suffers from wordiness, and it is unclear whether the focus of the piece lies in the scatterbrain plot or the gleefully absurd imagery of the projected animation.
PIT are an intriguing bunch, comprised of energetic actors of varying shapes and sizes, gleefully absurd dialogue and a tangible ambition which fills the spectator with the glorious sense that it could all fall apart at any moment.
It’s bizarre stuff, and the group have a long way to go before finding their unique voice, but their impressive track record and commitment to taking creative risks marks them out as a wacky tip for future success.