Devisers: Re:Conception Theatre
Reviewer: Tom Finch
Shadows on the Wall begins with a striking image of a blind dictator, adorning his throne pontificating his brutal fratricidal rise to power of an unnamed country. Sitting alone in a spotlight with a haunting melody shirking the darkness he painfully remembers the atrocities he committed. Now paranoid, isolated and rapidly losing his tenuous grasp on power he is not only blind in sight but also unable to see the dangers creeping up on him.
Unfortunately this short speech is the only highlight in an otherwise dull, monotonous, poorly produced piece of theatre. All four actors are uniformly seriously lacking in acting ability. The three female actors in particular struggle to bring their characters to life. Their delivery is wooden, with no sense of emotion or any motivation. Awkward direction ensures the pace lags throughout. Awkward blackouts and long conversations between two characters standing in perpetual profile mean that there is very little worth watching.
Projection is a real issue, one gentleman in the audience was forced to move to the front row as one actress in particular makes no effort to project past the fourth wall.
There are glimpses of an interesting script with echoes of King Lear, Julius Caesar and Gogol all lurking among the terrible production on the stage. The actors and director do the show a great disservice. By the time the characters start killing each other off it comes as a merciful relief. This is fringe theatre at its absolute worst.
Runs until 2nd June then on tour.