Following their success at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with their Total Theatre Award-nominated Odyssey, Lecoq-trained physical ensemble Theatre Ad Infinitum are back this year with the haunting Translunar Paradise.
This new play without words is written, co-devised and directed by joint artistic director George Mann, who also stars alongside Deborah Pugh. Mann was inspired by the process of watching his father’s death from cancer – and the result is a true celebration of life.
When an old man’s beloved wife dies, he’s overwhelmed by mourning, solitude and loneliness, which he copes with by escaping into the past and reliving their decades-long marriage, from meeting and courtship, through to family disappointments, war, sickness and death.
The old couple wear masks, highly expressive and weathered; when the masks are removed, we see their younger selves – or how they always see one another in each other’s eyes, whatever the ravages of time. With occasional fast-forwarding and rewinding, the entire relationship is played out through movement choreographed to music and percussion provided by Kim Heron. It’s astounding how much you can say without words – and this company says it beautifully.