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Robinson Crusoe - All Washed Up

Ordinarily, if you heard that somebody does a one-man show about Robinson Crusoe while playing the accordion, you’d think, “Well, that’s weird.”

But this week you just think, “Well, that’s the Fringe.”

And so it is with Robinson Crusoe – All Washed Up, the solo show by Fergus Rougier of Berlin. If you’re looking for a straightforward telling of the classic story, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a guy who can sing a song (to the accordion) about not wanted to be eaten by cannibals, can bring in references to Queen and SpongeBob and can do marvelous things with a large blue sheet, this is your man.

Rougier doesn’t look like your idea of Crusoe: He’s dressed as a gymnast, or a particularly natty mime, and I’m not sure if his show is aimed at with-it adults or kids. But there’s something compelling about a performance that’s just so danged different. Every Fringe needs some of these.

Elizabeth Maupin - Orlando Sentinel

 

A man emerges from under an enormous blue blanket into a howling void to tell a tale of isolation, self-reliance, and the anthropological ethics of cannibalism. Yeah, we are definitely at the Fringe.

Fergus Rougier’s one-man musicalization of Daniel Defoe’s classic adventure story (don’t worry if you’ve never read the book, neither has he) is the kind of show that could never survive in a commercial venue – and thank god for that. For the first 5 minutes I was transfixed by Rougier’s spindly legs, squeezed into improbable striped knee pants. For the next 5, I was fascinated by his gangling, contorted physicality; he embodies a unique movement quality somewhere between pantomime and modern dance, settling on a mixture of a Cirque du Soleil strongman and Ed Grimley. And all that was even before he started playing “We Are the Champions” and “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor” on his accordion.

As the initial disorientation abated (it never completely disappeared) a kind of stage-bound Stockholm Syndrome set in, rendering me incapable of evaluating the show by any rational gauge. Are Roguier’s perplexing persona and yowling vocalizations serious or slyly sarcastic? Are the pop-culture references to Castaway and Hannibal Lecter indicative of po-mo self-awareness or media-addled mania? Are avant-garde appreciating adults his target audience, or developmentally-delayed adolescents? Is this the worst Fringe show I’ve seen this year, or the best? I have no fucking clue. I just know that, while often bizarre and befuddling, Rougier’s show is never banal or boring. If you’re prepared for the most unconventional hour you’ll find at Fringe, go see Robinson Crusoe and decide for yourself just what the hell it is.

Seth Kubersky - Orlando Weekly

Orlando Fringe Festival May 08

 

Finally on Sunday I caught Fergus Rougier perform his one man show Robinson Crusoe: All Washed Up. His material, based on the story of Robinson Crusoe, could not fit a one man show more sweetly as we watched the performer marooned on his lonely stage trying to survive, trying to reach the end of the tale. The storyteller, even when narrating or singing about Crusoe and his situation, always was Crusoe and this allowed Rougier to both comment on Crusoe’s character and his in built racism without ever losing sight of the man in his desperate plight - until at last he can jump stage amidst great applause and sail home. Fergus Rougier is a multi-talented performer - a mime, an actor-storyteller, musician and comic. This was indeed a virtuoso performance which, while constantly poking fun at its own conceits, managed to express something moving about what it is to be human - in other words, alone.


Charles Way

 

Fri 27.6.08

Inn on the Square

“Cracking performance”.  What a great end to the day!  I’m now on a total high (not drugs/alcohol!)

 

Fri 27.6.08

Inn on the Square

Very innovative.   A unique show.

 

Fri 27.6.08

Inn on the Square

Very well studied and performed.  Great show.  Hours and hours of energy – spot on this show.

 

Fri 27.6.08

Inn on the Square

Absolutely amazing  - well acted – loved it.  Thank you.

Julie W

 

Great.  Super energy and animation *.

 

Hilarious!  Very well acted – kept us laughing thoughout – A MUST!!!!

 

 

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