Devised by: Sacha Plaige, Jennifer Swingler, George Ramsay
Director: Mine Cerci
Reviewer: Christopher Hong
The setting is a support group in the afterlife for atrio who committed suicide, though this is merely a loose framework for various scenes exploring death, life and the cyclic repetitiveness and the futility of the two. The comedy here is a knowing absurdity through physical theatre about meaninglessness and suffering. The show begins in a sinister tone with a silhouette of a little girl skipping rope accompanied by two overgrown school children grinning creepily, blowing bubbles in their milk bottles. Then it continues with more surreal scenes such as one involving a zebra prostituting herself and on behalf of a lion, which no doubt is something everyone looks for in the afterlife.
There are gory scenes through generous use of blood, including a clever little scene demonstrating the blood to be completely edible and possibly quite tasty. Although the message of circularity and the suffering of both life and death is clear, the play does not add anything new in terms of ideas and thinking. At times, the show feels a little disjointed but what it does is visualise some of the concepts in strong imagery which will no doubt remain long in the minds of the audience.
The functional set with plastic sheets covering the floor also serves as the backdrop doubling up as protection against various props such as a water gun, soil and of course, the aforementioned blood. The show is atmospheric coupled with sound and, on occasion, chilling strip lighting coming on to add to the action.
As members of Clout Theatre, the three performers all trained at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris with superb physical theatre and clowning credentials that are on full display here. In particular Sacha Plaige has a graceful athleticism whose every movement has a deliberate intent about it which translates well to the work. She is nicely supported by George Ramsay with his posh toff character and Jennifer Swingler as a rambling housewife and a rather graceful lion.
The show is certainly dark but it is always intriguing. While it may not be completely coherent and possibly a little inaccessible for some, there are enough highlights visually to be memorable and the grinning children with the girl skipping rope will be sure to stay with me for awhile.