The premise of Caridad Svich’s
Ultimately this production is weird rather than wonderful.
Generally speaking the aesthetic of the piece is consistent, although everything could have been louder and brighter. Jennifer Walton’s lurid music and Caitlin Ivory’s lighting fuse in a suitably psychedelic – if not intense – meeting of mediums which is most effective in a passage that sees Iphigenia experience an extended trip. Details have been considered too; a black birthday balloon is a nice addition to the overall design. But whirring behind the actors is a screen showing various images of warfare and pop culture: central to the drama of the play, this is a poorly put together film that fails to justify or explain its presence. Yet nonetheless it does have its moments – a cinematic passage introducing the figure of Achilles as he has been portrayed through cultural history is a rare instance of the film complementing the themes of the text.
Blocking and choreography are handled with mixed results and the acting is not bad. Jess Rahman-Gonzalez as Iphigenia is capable of mustering a piercingly vacant stare and realises their character most fully towards the end of the play, culminating in a well-rehearsed closing monologue. Sam Kindon’s Achilles is another of the show’s stronger points as he slinks about the stage on his quest for pleasure and oblivion. However, Kindon’s physicality is more impressive than his spoken acting: there are times when his slow drawl reduces his character to pastiche. The ensemble needs to be credited too as some of the most challenging scenes involve everyone in the cast, but again the choreography in these passages needs more work to avoid undue cluttering of the stage.
Clumsy Bodies Theatre deliver an important message in Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (A Rave Fable), but ultimately this production is weird rather than wonderful.