Clod Ensemble, Greed

Review in Issue 15-3 | Autumn 2003

The latest from Clod Ensemble is a technically precise and perfectly executed piece of physical theatre, a melodrama on the theme of greed portrayed by two excellent performers, Sarah Cameron and Jason Thorpe, with an original piano score by Paul Clark. It is presented as a live enactment of a silent screen film, complete with a rather too wordy projected text. It stays true to that form in its portrayal of extravagant actions and sensational incidents that happen to characters who are less ‘real’ people than shifting representations of archetypal ideas: love, ambition, folly, hope, despair…

The skills of both actors is such that there is never a moment when the spectator feels anything less than totally engaged, with particularly enjoyable sections including a skit on the couple’s rise in success played out with an ever-more extravagant display of hats, and a drunken semi-striptease in a bar performed with clownish perfection by Thorpe.

Although Greed is typical of the company in its combination of original composed music and physical performance of the highest standard, it is a far safer piece than some of their work, which has often featured large ensembles of performers and has taken risks in presenting juxtapositions of ideas and performance styles. As a three-hander, Greed will of course be infinitely easier to tour, and the content of the piece will no doubt have a broader appeal than Clod’s more experimental work. And if that means that the company moves from their highly regarded cult status into mass appeal, then this is something that they well deserve – although I am looking forward to seeing their exciting new ideas to be presented at BAC Opera this autumn…

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-3
p. 24