Posts Tagged ‘Julia Jarcho’

This is a very original idea, installation meets theatre, in a superb new space down the alley at the side of the Royal Court Theatre. If only it were more coherent.

You start, map in hand, by walking through an outdoor Christmas tree sale, into a five room installation, peering into two more, and on to an open air space out the back with a delightful peep-hole en route. Three actors populate two of the spaces. The themes are Christmas and crime scene. You even get a very welcome glass of mulled wine. Twenty minutes later, you’re on a bench in the performance space.

Julia Jarcho’s play is in three parts, played by three actors who each play three roles (well, one plays four, just to spoil the symmetry). Sometimes scenes are outside in the Christmas tree sale or in other installation rooms or out the back, relayed onto five TV screens placed randomly in the space, which is itself like an installation, so the actors come and go, as do items and props, and change clothes frequently. The stage manager is a fourth performer.

One part concerns two tree salesmen, at times sounding English, at times foreign, and a female customer. A second concerns a crime scene and investigation. The third appears to be three furry animals. The first two are interwoven, characters morphing from one to the other and it ends with the third. It left me wanting an explanation, but that could be my inadequacy as an audience member.

It’s a great space, in which Chloe Lamford has created an extraordinary design, it’s original in form, its intriguing and its well performed, but too obtuse for me. I’d have liked to have seen the point, if there is one. A brave experiment that didn’t fully work for me, but I don’t regret going.

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