Third Angel, Leave No Trace

Review in Issue 15-1 | Spring 2003

At the heart of Third Angel’s new piece is an absence. Four lost days in the life of Alice Thompson who experiences a ‘Dissociative Fugue’: a spontaneous journey in a state of amnesia. As Alexander Kelly’s programme notes explain, there isn’t a lot of research material to be had on the subject because not a lot of what occurs is remembered or noticed.

Around this intriguing hole Third Angel work their way in a layered dialogue between Rachel Walton playing ‘Alice’, and Abigail Davies who is ‘just The Woman’ – sometimes therapist, sometimes pejorative interrogator and sometimes breaking from both to chat with Rachel Walton ‘out of character’ in uncomfortably pally/bitchy non-action in which they chat about the character performance as if they didn’t know exactly what they are about to do next.

It’s clear Third Angel are resisting the depthless present of a committed postmodern take on non-memory: actions without consequence, the evocation of super-modern travel, all-night banking, signs, lines, motion and speed, life as a hurry sickness are all there. Unfortunately, the theatrical counter-game of disappointment and bathos they play – introducing a hypnosis and refusing it, telling a lie and then exposing it as… a lie, brightly beginning discourses on memory biology and cognition but never moving beyond Reader’s Digest level, pre-Freudian mental projections – creates a genuine sense of anticlimax and a crude theatrical barrier to the resonance of the material.

A frustrating show. With a little more asceticism or theatricality, one way or the other, this could have been a powerful piece. Instead it gets by on charm.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-1
p. 28