Brix’s building a brilliant rep

Brix is a revelation as the drifter with an ulterior motive

 

Peter (Ian Burns) is an old fart who enjoys his simple pleasures. There he is, tucked away from the city in his own little corner of nature in Central Park, luxuriating on a bench when a stranger stumbles in – in this case the first member of the audience.

Should we say hello? “Alright mate, thanks for forgetting to put me on the guest list.”  No! This is a work of theatre that has clearly already started. Aided by good lighting and an atmospheric backdrop that is more EisenhowerÂ’s larks than NixonÂ’s narcs, Peter continues reading – heÂ’s in character. Still, you have kind of ignored him, and this theme will reoccur throughout That TheatreÂ’s production of Edward AlbeeÂ’s ‘The Zoo StoryÂ’, currently three weeks into a one-month run at Krudttønden in Østerbro.

The peace is broken by a volley from the ape cage – a premonition of what is to come, although Peter’s bench must be pretty close to the place where Jodie Foster was raped in the dreadful ‘The Brave One’. (It made me chuckle at any rate.)

Enter Jerry (Adam Brix), who in contrast to the audience isnÂ’t afraid to interact. HeÂ’s your worst nightmare: a rambler who makes little sense, shrill like an excitable chicken – the first of many animalistic traits the Danish actor conjures up in what is an extraordinary performance.

First and foremost, Brix is a great breather, bringing pathos to his every sigh. His accent is soulful, betraying a man whose faith in humanity is at breaking point. And his gestures take us through almost every enclosure of the zoo. He is simian, then reptilian, a spider and then a lion, a fly and then a grasshopper.

When Jerry finally breaks through to Peter, it is through the oldest form of communication: physicality. The pair frolic like chimpanzees and butt heads like billy goats. The title of the play, which you donÂ’t want to end, finally makes sense.

*****(Out of 6)

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For all our interaction, we might as well live in a zoo