Theatre 2.0, Breath[e]

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

Breath(e) lies a good distance from Beckett's Breath, its avowed inspiration, in both aesthetic form and effect, although both abandon the actor in favour of sound, light, and minimal set. Where Breath is a sharp-edged articulation of the fleeting nature of existence, Breath(e) is a mesmeric journey into a haunting spiritual dimension. Where Beckett's discarded rubbish, lying in a cruelly defined spotlight, suggests the uselessness of our physical form, Theatre 2.0's presentation of a dark reflecting pool of water beneath mountains carved with light out of dry ice creates an emptiness of physical form. Where Beckett's piece is painfully framed by a lonely baby's scream in the darkness, Theatre 2.0 solemnly frame their work with two solitary 30W light bulbs.

In declaring their source material, Theatre 2.0 almost asked to be measured against Beckett's shortest work – but a key difference lies in the distance Theatre 2.0 attain from Beckett's often playful nihilism. They transcend the human suffering in Beckett's work and instead replace it with an aching distance from reality. This is emphasised by the lake proscenium that separates us from the 'action'. As a performance, Breath(e) was beautiful and entrancing, not at all like the suffocating quality of Breath. But just like Breath, Theatre 2.0's Breath(e) manages to achieve an aesthetic that moves you physiologically and emotionally, and there are few companies around who can claim to do that.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 24