The only items of set are three tall screens, used for entrances and exits into imagined spaces. They each bear the same design of three coloured circles, which, within the peeling paintwork and distressed/authentic aesthetic of the room, look like display screens for a product launch at Earl’s Court. As far as I am aware, they also have no clear relation to Francis Bacon’s artwork, and I wondered whether projected images might have helped to land and illustrate subjects of the spoken narrative.
The whole piece is also performed in a single lighting state, without any soundtrack or what could be described as a costume. This places even more demand on the vocal delivery to convey the story, making it at times seem like we were witnessing a rehearsal, delivered very directly to each of us.
Given all these aspects, I found it difficult to engage with the narrative – but I imagine some fairly basic adjustments might make it an effective and rewarding show. The performer made a powerful effort in the face of these challenges. After the show, he was selling CDs of the piece, and it left me thinking that audio drama felt like the underlying format of the production’s delivery of the text.