BWW REVIEW: THERE WILL BE A CLIMAX Is A Bright And Bizarre Piece Of Perpetual Motion That Provokes Thought
Tuesday 16th January 2018, 8pm, Old Fitz Theatre
Alexander Berlage (Director/Lighting Design) brings his brilliantly baffling piece of physical theatre, THERE WILL BE A CLIMAX, to the Old Fitz Theatre. This captivating performance, first presented as part of his studies at NIDA, works on different levels to entertain and provoke thought as to the message behind the non verbal presentation.
A perpetually revolving stage, bordered by crushed gold foil, designed by Nicholas Fry (Set and Costume Design) is home to six absurd characters (Toby Blome, Contessa Treffone, Duncan Ragg, Geneva Schofield, Oliver Crump and Alex Stylianou) stuck dancing to Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). In intentionally ill-fitting black suits, patent leather oxfords, extreme raven wigs and common make-up style, the six have uniformity but individualised with unique neckpieces, hairstyles and facial colouring. The six dance deftly on the continuously moving tilted stage, caught in the first of many repetitive cycles over the 60 minutes, each starts to exhibit individual characteristics.
The choreography by Toby Derrick is incredibly intricate, ensuring that the performers move within the small space without falling or bumping in to each other. With the constant movement of the stage, even the simplest moments need to be choreographed to ensure actors still connect with the audience and Derrick has ensured that the ensemble have learnt to move with apparent ease so that, at times, the audience forgets that the stage is still moving. Along with the interaction with each other and the challenge of the stage, Berlage ensures that the interaction with the variety of foreign objects hurled down at the stage is delicately nuanced. They covet, inquire and investigate with jealousy, greed, intrigue and interest, utilising physical responses, eye contact and a 'language' of squeaks, squawks and other unintelligible sounds, including an song cycle that morphs as it is passed through the group.
Whilst the work can be enjoyed simply as an absurd comedy, there does appear to be an underlying moral to the story. Berlage challenges the audience to consider the merry-go-round of need and being unsatisfied with one's own self. Once they can rid themselves of the consumer greed and narcissistic need for attention can they have any hope of finding peace from the continuity of chaos.
Whether you want an hour to escape the seriousness of the world or you enjoy a deep philosophical debate post show, THERE WILL BE A CLIMAX will allow you that. Energetic and inventive and an incredibly bold performance to open the Old Fitz's 2018 program.
9th January - 3rd February 2018
Photos: Robert Catto Photography.
Instagram & Twitter: @robertcatto