Komedia Productions, Catastrophe Komedia

Review in Issue 13-3 | Autumn 2001

David Lavender’s production brought together Rockaby, Ohio Impromptu, A Piece of Monologue and Catastrophe – the last being the play Beckett wrote for Vaclav Havel, playwright and erstwhile President of Czechoslovakia. The first – although you always thought of Billie Whitelaw – transcended any such unfaithful fantasies as you were caught by the at first still, then rocking presence of the woman in the chair while her thoughts filled the auditorium from loudspeakers, as if we were sitting inside her brain. The self-referential speech, the windows that have blinds drawn that look out onto still more windows that have blinds drawn, the circularity of it all, were beautifully balanced in the pause between ‘I said to myself’ and ‘Whom else?’ – rueful, almost humorous, accepting and final. Who else is there to talk to?

The second play, with the reader and the listener, was again visually perfect, still, though not minimalist, for they had their black clothes, the table, the book, the slow but deliberate gesture of turning the page holding the audience’s attention in time as the play turned the same page.

The third rant, a man in his nightshirt, was hard to hear; you dipped in and out of the long sentences, drifting off in between, but it was mercifully short in total. The odd punter, whose patience was tried, walked out and so they missed Catastrophe, a witty, powerful playlet with all its undertones of obedience, conformity and the shaping of matter into art: colour, costume and characters making it seem like a sumptuous cabaret after the first three plays.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-3
p. 23