Saturday, April 07, 2007

Five in the Morning

Last week, Rotozaza's Doublethink showed us what happens when guest performers attempt to follow directions; this week's Five in the Morning shows us what happens when real actors attempt to be guest performers attempting to follow directions. Ant Hampton's direction is just as clever here as it was last week, and the stark white floor and curtains of the stage provide a blank slate for the character-building thrust of the show. As the three "hapless" visitors to Aquaworld, Silvia Mercuriali, Greg McLaren, and Melanie Wilson are doing great theatrical work, and while their results aren't as surprising (or thereby engrossing) as Doublethink, it's curious to observe how the same struggles ("Build a human tower") and directions ("Chew your lip" or "Die") are handled by "professionals" (who are in turn pretending to be amateurs). The neat effect is that each actor is assigned a specific voice (their own, I believe, though it's distorted at first): they only do something when they are told to do it. A scene is created by various commands overlapping, and the beauty is in watching the chaos of individual actors coalesce into the kind of structure formed by going so far past disorganization that the randomness comes full circle and is specific again.

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