Super

Wed 10th – Sat 13th June 2015

reviews

Anton Bruder

at 02:08 on 11th Jun 2015

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Not that it is necessarily a criticism, but the genre of the play was far from clear. If push came to shove, I would be forced to classify this drama as a farce. Whatever hints of humour were arguably present were derivative at best and tediously predictable at worst. The greatest praise is therefore due to the actors themselves for injecting the incessantly vapid dialogue and inane plot with some sort of dramatic excitement and tension with their enthusiasm and delivery.

Though undoubtedly exuding a pretension towards comedy, the play fell short of the mark, given that the majority of laughs elicited by the audience came under the category of 'pity laughs'. It seems to this critic that the writer and director ought to have put less misguided effort into garnering laughter, and more into developing the more interesting emotional rapports between both on-stage and off-stage characters. For example, the emotional depths of the invisible/homosexual character James were left far from plumbed. The mere observation of the link between marginalisation and the character's sexuality does not constitute an artistic analysis.

All the actors deserve praise for their unyielding enthusiasm, their ability to ignore distractions from the audience (in the form either of unfortunate phone noises or uncouth and ill-timed laughter), and their skill in keeping an audience of thirty-odd individuals from leaving the theatre hall prematurely. Those that stood out as particularly skilful players were the interpreters of the characters of Dreamweaver and Melissa, for their skill in expression, both facial and bodily, though perhaps the actress of the latter character occasionally delivered her lines in a fashion more dramatic than the subject matter warranted. It falls to this critic to slight somewhat the portrayal of the camp super-villain whose power was one of mimicry; his engagement in the subplot love-story with Viola lacked even the basic chemistry required to make magnesium fizz in water. One might recommend that he kiss someone in person for real as practice.

Despite all of the above, this farce was (shockingly) redeemed at the last minute, in the opinion of this critic, by a profound meditation. In the final scene, the character Melissa, cursed with the gift of immortality, asks Viola to boop her (i.e. to put her to sleep; the necessity of this alternate, invented term, is lost on the critic). This indeed is truly a provocative and, arguably, artistic, thought, that the human gifted with immortal life seeks nothing else but the eternal sleep of death. This antithesis of Real versus Desire manages (though only crudely, even to the attentive mind) to distil the essence of the human condition. It is only a shame that it took an hour and a half of substance-less inanity to reach this timeless sententia.

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