This was a strange piece at Theatre N16. Going into it we were vaguely aware that it had something to do with immigration. However had we not been told that, I don’t think we would have got the message. We were aware though, but we still did not really get it.
Created by Hounded Theatre in collaboration with Ugly Collective this work had too many contrasting styles. Physical theatre, music and song, and naturalistic and non-naturalistic theatre combined to make a mouthful of a theatre piece. Elizabeth meets a boy in a park and a relationship begins and then he sets off for war to defend the country. The narrative is stretched out to incorporate other generations and then a mother finally washes up on the shores of France in a state of confusion.
It was very hard to follow what was happening. Storytelling is the main purpose of all those creating theatre, but the different styles made it hard to understand the basic plot line. However, there were some lovely moments, particularly some of the choreographed physical moments, although one member of the group was not quite in sync with the others which detracted slightly from the overall effect. The musical moments were beautiful and a lovely respite from our confusion with the story. There was also an interesting use of the N16 windows.
For us the company needed better direction during the production phase. It was very ambitious with lots of interesting ideas and styles attempted but it did not gel at all. They may have had someone looking in at the work from the outside but often it is better to have two or three…
We look forward to seeing how this company develops and how they improve and fine tune their work.
Highlight of the piece – the hair washing with a sponge and metal bucket – an extremely powerful and effective moment within the play. Whilst the body rhythm sex scene was very amusing.