Writer: Reginald Ellis Crump
Director: Monstah Black &Ashley Brockington
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
The year is 2033. It is August. It is the end of the world. What’s left to do but throw the party to end all parties?
Monstah Black’s Hyperbolic! (the last spectacle) is part play, part performative installation art, and entirely captivating. The ensemble cast (Monstah Black, Joey Cuellar, Johnnie “Cruise” Mercer, Alicia Dellimore, Benedict Nguyen, and Shiloh Hodges) are utterly brilliant, as individuals and as a cohesive unit. The movement work is spectacular, with boththe choreography and its execution laser-sharp. Utilizing the intimate space of Dixon Place to the fullest, the apocalyptic bash envelops the audience in its id-fueled orgiastic energy. The play possesses a linear plot with distinct characters, but the audience finds their focus not upon what happens next and why, but on riding the waves of terror, joy, and debauchery through to the end of days with this amazing cast.
The visual pop of this piece is stunning. Mod and post-mod black and white with pops of red, bodycon dresses made of men’s cotton whitebriefs, and the use of balloons as clothing add a feeling of stark, end-of-days menace while maintaining an irreverent and celebratory energy. It is this celebratory energy in both design and performance that can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. The piece starts at a high energy level and never waivers, which though a testament to the skill and dedication of the cast, sometimes muddles the importance assigned to individual moments. The entire piece feels like a climax, which lends itself to a great deal of excitement, but one must peer closely to appreciate the minutiae beneath the din. It’s a fun challenge though, and one audiences ought to experience for themselves. There is no way to leave the theatre feeling low after watching the world end in Monstah Black and his ensemble’s hands.
Runs until 23 July 2016