Compagnie Mossoux Bonté, The Last Hallucinations of Lucas Cranach

Review in Issue 9-1 | Spring 1997

This was a piece of visual rather than physical theatre which attempted to reveal the darker side of Cranach's paintings and vision. Although visually rich, in the manner of Greenaway's films, considering the subject matter it was a cold piece lacking the sensuality or violence necessary to move or match the paintings. There was a concern with form and style at the expense of real substance or resonance.

Using the rhythms of dance rather than theatre, a wall of window and door frames was filled with a sequence of fragmented images. These broke up and reformed in ways that evoked the surrealism of de Chirico or Dali. As with much mime work, it was dependent on a music/soundscape (in itself very powerful) with images and music illustrating each other rather than playing in counterpoint. The most potentially powerful moment theatrically came at the end when the ‘characters' emerged onto the forestage, looking lost and bewildered outside the safety of their frames but coming forward to confront the audience as voyeur. But the challenge was lost as it simply turned into a device for creating the curtain call. Visually powerful maybe, but the work was too hermetic and cold. This became Moussoux Bonté's private vision of which the audience were permitted only glimpses.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-1
p. 22