Und

Where to begin is a question I cannot push from my mind. Und is a one-woman show about a variety of things – none of which I am entirely sure of. Annette Chown’s performance as Und is undoubtedly captivating, almost brilliant, but it is hard to critique as she screams and whispers her from line to line.Howard Baker’s script is crafted around Und waiting for the arrival of a man, yet his appearance seems both inevitable and impossible. Her confusion as to whether he will actually turn up does seem to fuel the play but it has to be said that this piece is more of a theatrical spectacle than a play in itself.The eerie atmosphere is supported by hanging mirrors, unexplained teapots and the soundscape that runs, sometimes confusingly, throughout the piece. From the excruciating sound of the doorbell to blood coming out of the teapot, this piece will certainly have you sat on the edge of your seat and immersed in the Und experience.I genuinely feel lost as to what Und is about, emotions such as loneliness are certainly explored but the play lacks a defining path. I appreciate that this is the nature of the script, but having next to no understanding of the play entirely massively reduces the enjoyment and interest one can get from a show. Chown’s diction, sharp delivery and faultless performance are excellent and she is probably worthy of another star but there is so much confusion in the absurdist nature of the play that everything that is good about it is lost somewhere between C soco and the insane. Worth a watch if Baker is your cup of tea but don’t forget blood and ashes also emerge from Und’s many teapots which I think are, personally, less desirable.

The Blurb

A derelict space. A live soundscape. Teapots. Torchlight. A lone Jewish woman awaits a cryptic lover. Lyrical, full-on encounter with fanatical conviction and restless impulse, from one of Britain's most powerful playwrights, Howard Barker. 'Visual masterpiece' **** (Venue). www.mechanimal.wordpress.com