Each performer embodied the rigidity and shyness of the narrative,and then transitioned quickly and effortlessly into the tender explorations of closeness and allure.
Keiron Jecchinis as Egon gave an old-fashioned stillness and authority to the production, complimenting and contrasting with Mel Oskar’s sometimes over-zealous and youthful performance as Valie. The linguistic flare of the text transcended visually into the charming movement sequences directed by Jennifer Malarkey. Each performer embodied the rigidity and shyness of the narrative,and then transitioned quickly and effortlessly into the tender explorations of closeness and allure. In these moments the pair became a duet of images and motifs in an attempt to spring from the lyrical universe created by the text into their own expressive world of love and torment. Initially pleasing, these moments were used cyclically and became rather humdrum.
Linguistically the performance was rich and articulate, but the performers sustained an uncomfortably high level of inactivity creating a lack of emotional range. The minimalistic set bound the characters together as they statically crafted the distance, closeness and tension between them. Matt O’Leary’s lighting fused together the contrasts in the pace and style of the writing by switching from an atmosphere of warmth and tenderness, to one of an icy anguish. For the most part there was little cohesion between the articulation of Bolster’s emotive language, and the pedestrian staging.
The performance shaped and fractured its own motifs in order to show the progression and deterioration of a relationship but focused too heavily on separating the lyrical and narrative strands of the text. Ultimately the production forces a somewhat fractured and tedious depiction of theatricality upon a poetic and descriptive love story.
*** (3 stars)
Runs until 17th June