Static Assembly attempt to give us an insight into the lives and rivalry of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla but really just leaves the audience confused. While they claim they are presenting an ‘experimental’ and ‘divine’ insight to this true story, the term ‘unique’ to mean an attempt to be bizarre in every sense.
A talented cast are let down by a ludicrous and perplexing show
Joshua Logan Walker’s script is incredibly difficult to follow with vague narratives that make it hard to even know who the characters are, never mind what is supposed to be happening. The show dances between storylines and, honestly, I’m not sure if I even understood whether the timeline was linear or if it was a flashback. In this version of history, Edison is made out to be a dystopian society dictator, censoring those who speak out against him. There is mention of him ‘always watching’, presumably characterised by the bizarre pigeon-headed woman who is later revealed to be his wife. Yeah, I don’t know either. The actual character of Edison, however, is rarely seen other than in a baffling clown-ish slapstick scene where he rolls around on the ground with a mound of gold streamers. At other points in the show there are scenes like this that seem completely out of context and separate what small moments of storytelling there is.
Overall, I don’t feel like anything can be learned about two of science’s great inventors from this production. Unfortunately, a talented cast are let down by a ludicrous and perplexing show. When leaving the venue I even overheard a ‘what on earth was supposed to be happening?’ I wish I knew.