Platform 4, Dr Heidegger’s Experiment

Review in Issue 15-1 | Spring 2003

First, a declaration of interest: I have, in the past, worked as an artistic adviser with this Winchester-based company, which has gained a growing reputation both locally and nationally. Now that’s over, here’s the review…

Taking Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story as a starting point – in which three disparate characters are offered a drink from the fountain of youth, to be confronted by a series of moral dilemmas – writer and poet Anna Maria Murphy has constructed a fable which addresses the desire to remain young, the worship of beauty and celebrity, and the need to be loved.

Under Catherine Church’s inventive, tight direction, the three actors, Vladimir Ilic, Oliver Parham and Imogen Rogers, display skill and versatility in their physical performances. This is helped by designer Sue Houser’s simple, yet effective set: several mobile platforms, which the actors upend and climb around, allowing them to display a wide range of movement, from the precisely choreographed to the abandoned and acrobatic. However, they could have explored their emotional range more. Portrayals of old age, for example, tended to be of the shaky-hand, quavering voice variety. Yet Vladimir Ilic’s brooding stillness, combining both menace and vulnerability, hits exactly the right note. The actors could have developed this ambiguity further throughout the piece.

Helen Morley’s atmospheric, subtle lighting and Jules Bushell’s evocative original soundtrack, which draws on and develops a variety of sound from everyday noise to ambient music, contribute enormously to this piece of poetic, touching and moving theatre.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-1
p. 28 - 29