David O’Shaughnessy, 14th September 2011
Follow is one of the joys of festivals like the Fringe. Promising to explore the use of sign language as an accompanying form of dramatic expression, WillFredd Theatre present a one-man show of tales from the lives of members of the deaf community. Using sound, light and performance in a unique and playful way, Follow is a show that captivates from start to finish.
Shane O’Reilly is spectacular as that one-man, with seemingly endless talent. Characterization is sublime, with moments ranging from highly comical to profoundly tragic and deeply moving. Not only is he able to shift deftly between characters, his energy and movement is so organic and sincere that it is near-impossible to not be charmed by his performance. Accompanied musically by composer Jack Cawley, the show is punctuated with instruments both familiar and not, sometimes blending and sometimes jarring with the lone actor on stage, but never diminishing the overall experience.
O’Reilly is supported by superb sound and light design, both of which use the space provided masterfully. The 65 minute run-time is barely noticeable as this company guides the audience through stories that are both poignant and thought-provoking. All in all, an authentic and engaging insight into the deaf community and highly recommended.