No Lost Souls, Nitrogen Narcosis - A Play

Review in Issue 6-4 | Winter 1994

On the menu tonight a bizarre melange of synchronised swimming, Ibsen (impersonated by a goldfish), and reconstituted diary entries as seasoning. One thing that can be said about the result is that despite the short playing time (only fifty minutes), it was impossible to predict what was going to happen next – not always a positive quality. The two synchronised swimmers, who were the main characters of the piece, were satirised in beautiful detail; flowery swimming hats, blue sparkly eye-shadow, wonderfully choreographed routines, and perfectly expressed small-town ambitions. Quite how this particular strand of the piece fitted in with Ibsen was a little harder to fathom. The play featured not only the aforementioned aquatic incarnation of the playwright, but also extracts from his work, performed with ‘sculptural costumes’.

The whole, it somehow transpired, was an exploration of different shades of Tragedy. But, despite carefully judged performances from Sarah Dawson and Anita Timlin (although Agnes Folkestad was not at her best, at times seemingly totally unfamiliar with the script), the whole was distinctly less than the sum of its parts. This was because the parts were too disparate, and the piece lacked a unifying structure or any sense of pace. It is all very well to come up with clever ideas and carefully observed details, but merely throwing them together does not produce good theatre.

A plate full of garnishes is not at all the same as a proper dish. Back to the kitchen with you, chef.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-4
p. 26