Al Seed, The Factory

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

A bored bureaucratic automaton is seduced by the glowing power of a throbbing scarlet button. Once pushed, he is drawn down into the smoking bowels of hell, where, claiming his crown of bullets, he is empowered to Caligula-like excess. Part mime, part Butohesque incarnation, Al Seed contorts through the various postures of power, terror and a sort of moral bankruptcy that leaves him pleading with the audience like an addict, desperate for his sense of power to be confirmed. Compared in his press release to the work of Beckett, the form fully embodies a state of being in the same way, but is far more charged with ideological content and specific ideas. Yet the content is never overwhelming in its polemic, oiled by a dynamic use of stagecraft and vigorous technological score. If there were moments when the clarity of expression was obscured, the jaw-aching tension and precision of Seed’s physicality and the honestly of his performance carried us through.

It’s exciting to see intellectual and political ideas being realised in physical and imagistic form: they are made all the more potent and accessible by this expression. This is a performance of incredible intensity. The sweat and passion of Al Seed’s dystopic political tirade is impossible to ignore. The final image, of a suitcase of red buttons offered coyly out to the audience, emphasises our implication in the scenes we have witnessed, our shared responsibility. Sophisticated, absolutely compelling stuff.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 24