The first thing I noticed as I took my seat was the minimalistic, yet disconcerting set. Actors become visible from behind red sinew-like strips on either side of the central stage with a white circle painted in the middle like a cage. All the while a dissected tree and demonic eyes peer down on me. I’m interested.
Maybe it’s because I have not seen the “tired theatrical cliché, the inner voice made flesh” format in a while but I found the battle between the central character’s opposing personalities engaging. However, I would have to agree with WOS that the red for evil, black for recently deceased format was a tad obvious – though I can’t think of another way without confusing the audience.
Apart from a few scuffed lines and a couple of shaky opening minutes I was impressed by the play. Actors worked well together with the occasional mirroring movements being visually fascinating. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was fun and enjoyable - suicide and rape are not enjoyable topics - but it is worth seeing. Though be prepared to pay £12 for just a 50 minute performance.
- Dan W
23 Jun 09
I think the WoS review has a point, although Mr Valencia seems to have deciphered the whole play way before I could -- while I believe I saw a few things which he might have missed.
I found the set and costumes, with their boiled-down symbolism more interesting than obvious, as I was trying to figure out the visual representation of the Freudian Id, Ego and Super-Ego triad (a clear allusion) mingled with a perhaps forced reversal of external and internal realities. The eyes were indeed tortured -- but their real function seems to have been to signal, via a subtle blink, the drifting consciousness of the heroine.
Mr Charles's play itself does regurgitate a cliche (albeit taboo) theme with a tried-and-tested theatrical recipe. It may be halfway through the show that one begins to have a hunch as to what have happened, but the play turns out to be far from over. The nominal monologues of the woken heroine echo the best moments of Shelagh Stephenson's Five Kinds of Silence, and it is a pleasure to watch the careful arrangement and clear gestures of the actors with which the director (Mr Suda) makes it clear how the many personalities become one again. At times, some uncertainty is sensible as the actors fall out of sync or text -- but the play still gave me a good lot food for thought. - Jon R
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