Reviewer: Clare Howdon
Alma, A Human Voice by company Nina’s Drag Queens is an interesting albeit somewhat confusing play. At the heart of the piece are two stories; one takes inspiration from the nameless female character on the phone in Jean Cocteau’s play La Voix Humaine whilst the other centres on painter Oskar Kokoscha who turned his lover Alma Mahler into a life size doll.
There is a commendable attempt here for the play to spearhead drag queen philosophy into the modern day; a male actor is attempting to reach a feminine essence through his merging of a free soul and a mediocre victim. Even though the concept itself is intriguing, this doesn’t quite translate onto the stage and sadly we are left with a generally baffling piece of work.
Lorenzo Piccoli is an able performer and does his best to steer the perplexing script and there is a lovely sense of vulnerability to Piccoli in the opening scenes as he carefully places various items of clothing and props on the stage. However, the monotonous script whilst sounding poetically impressive is so unclear that it is difficult not to eventually switch off from Piccoli’s plight.
There are some moments of potential within Alma, A Human Voice and Piccoli is certainly an engaging presence. There are also some lovely choices made with lighting and music which gives the piece the desired macabre effect, but more work is needed on making the script accessible and appealing for an audience.
Runs until 26 August 2018 | Image: Valentina Bianchi