Kaos Theatre, The Kaos Master and Margharita

Review in Issue 10-4 | Winter 1998

Kaos Theatre is committed to performance research including Butoh, Kathak and Commedia dell’Arte. The sense of thorough training is very apparent in the work, but happily there are no obvious or superficial borrowings in the performance. What is obvious is a highly developed sense of rhythm, space, gesture, physical attitude and ensemble awareness. Like Footsbarn (who presented the same piece in 1988) the company has trained thoroughly vocally, enabling some excellent unaccompanied, harmony singing. The images are transposed simply, effectively and imaginatively, so that at no time are the audience unclear of the story, despite its complexity.

The pace is aided by the sudden, dynamic transitions between scenes or physical images, which sometime occur in such rapid succession as to give a percussive quality. The danger with such energetic stylisation, however, is that the physical pyrotechnics are liable to obscure the human story – the audience is wowed but not touched. Only at the very end is there any emotional impact, in the final speech which relates to the parallel story of Pontius Pilate.

Kaos spent six months working on and around this piece. In the current climate of low-cost, fast-product artistic practice this is most unusual and very welcome. It demonstrates how effective such investment can be.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-4
p. 23