The Lincoln Theatre Company presents an avant-garde evening, jam-packed with the surreal. The theatre-goer who seeks tranquillity and meaning will definitely not find it here. Rules are thrown out the window, because in this absurd world anything is possible. This play is not for the faint-hearted, so expect to be shocked.
At times there is almost too much happening.
The actors are present onstage as the audience head to their seats. There are five females resembling frozen mannequins in psychedelic 60's swimwear. Or six, if you include the creepy skeleton in a wig. They all have big hair and equally big grins. As the swinging 60's music plays something suggests that this is the calm before the storm.
As the hour unfolds things soon disintegrate into chaos. The company’s clever use of lighting is in tune with the surrealist feel. Film projections are shown from strung-up sheets adding another weird and wonderful layer to the performance. The play mirrors the disjointed nature of the 20th century modernist art movement and the action varies from a strange dreamlike calm to a wild frenzy. Terrifying moments include when the actors choose audience members to join them onstage and when they urge everybody to take off their shoes and their socks.
During this performance there is a multiplicity of different acting techniques. The effect is deliberately disorientating. The strange voices and peculiar slow movements juxtapose the madness and hysteria. Movement is intrinsic to this production. The actors organically work as one in numerous ways - from creating giant flesh-like shapes with their bodies to individually walking in sync in a floating manner. Throughout the performance there is a good group dynamic.
The Lincoln Theatre Company successfully challenges traditional theatre conventions through a combination of comedy and elements of surprise. References are made throughout to popular avant-garde artists Tristan Tzara and Antonin Artaud. Do they succeed in creating a modern age theatre of cruelty? At times there is almost too much happening. The production is also quite long so after a while the shock factor wears off and the bizarre becomes the norm. But ultimately it is up to the audience to decide.