I am frequently in a state of bafflement in the theatre, but rarely do I enjoy the process. However, comprehension is a mere petticoat to Gecko’s The Overcoat a radical treatment of Gogol’s short story . This is international physical theatre which ignores our general British foreign language deficiencies and dares to tell a story through Spanish, French, Russian and Japanese.
Having little idea what actually happened, I have returned at my leisure to the story itself, which is, as the company states, the ‘germ’ of the idea. Translation: that’s not going to help you much either…
Nevertheless, once you have overcome the language barrier(s), this is thrilling stuff. The story, of a downtrodden clerk toiling as a pointless pen pusher is as relevant now as it was in 1842, when this hugely influential work was written. Amit Lahav and his team have created a dark, grotesque tale. It is a stunningly surreal story, fizzing with ideas brought into life with humour, empathy and crazy music.
It has been touring internationally and while it has the slick cleverness of a long project, some of the choreography has become a little crumpled. That aside, this is a bold, baffling night of entertainment worth getting your coat on for.