Fondue, Bedsong

Review in Issue 12-2 | Summer 2000

Bedsong might be called a feminine variation on a theme by Beckett. We spend an amusing and revealing hour with two women who, while never moving from their shared bed, take us through their complex domestic rituals and, with the help of projected video images, transport us with them on imagined journeys. Dialogue is kept to a minimum so that the piece relies for its effect upon the visual realisation of the women’s private obsessions and idiosyncrasies.

Director/designer Lily Pender has a fine eye for detail and the performers, Katherine Morely and Chloe Snelling, are skilled at making small and subtle movements meaningful. The piece is witty and full of delightful absurdities drawn from the tedium of domestic life. I particularly like the moment when – the women having mixed ingredients for a cake and put it in a microwave – the lighting snaps to blackout and we all watch with absorption while the bowl revolves and the sponge rises.

When the women do vocalise, it is as if speech suddenly explodes from them in torrents of questions or statements, jumbled together in a way which is either completely chaotic or an expression of everything there is to be said about life. Meaning dissolves in the flood of speech. While there are moments where the piece seems too self-consciously surreal – too close to its Beckettian roots – this is, in the main, intelligent physical theatre in which the combination of the visual and the verbal makes us question how we watch and how we listen.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-2
p. 23