Back in Edinburgh after a Summerhall Fringe run, FellSwoop Theatre’s Eurohouse is a two-man commentary on the (super-)state of Europe. Via a series of extended metaphors, we’re offered a perspective on how Northern Europe (represented by Bertrand “Bert” Lesca) treats Southern Europe, specifically Greece (in the form of Nasi Voutsas), that might give Remoaners pause for thought as they fill in their Irish passport applications over tapas and chianti.
Thus we’re shown Bert sharing his sweets with Nasi, and then asking for them back, knowing full well they’ve been eaten, and that the only way they’re coming back out is with much unpleasantry. Then there’s a battle for the background music. Will it be the French original to My Way – Comme d’habitude (“As Usual”) – or Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac? And finally, Bert wants the literal shirt off Nasi’s back, as well as the metaphorical one.
The inferences to be drawn are clear in context, but this isn’t a self contained piece. Without some prior knowledge of the show’s scope, it is just two guys dancing and discussing sweets. It’s oblique enough that it could stand as metaphor for family, or friendship, or workplace relations. Even the vague sense of togetherness engendered through an audience ice-breaking exercise at the beginning could take us in any direction.
Frequent references to a dream of boats and pools and children in white also seem allegorical, somewhat elusively so. This dangling thread doesn’t tantalise enough before the denouement, when it’s finally resolved in one… excuse me… FellSwoop.
The view from the thin end of Europe’s wedge is not a pretty one. It’s certainly a perspective worth hearing, especially for the more ardent Europhiles amongst us. This metaphorical approach could be sharper and less laboured, though. At points, it’s unintentionally Brant, the physical cartoonist off The Day Today, but, like Europe itself, it might just about get there in the end.