Absence of Separation

Absence of Separation is a tender and evocative play about the frustrating search for the meaning of life. After an accident, John is fighting for his life and he is transported to a limbo space between life and death where this dream theatre takes place. With the help of a mysterious stranger, he confronts the significance of his existence of which he must find a viable solution, or else oblivion awaits.

The movement of the actors, however, bespeak a wonderful appreciation of spatiality.

Evidently, a lot of thought has been put into producing this show. Taking place at an underground bar, with intermittent acapella singing that haunts even the most well-adjusted mind, there is unmistakably a Dantesque aspect to it all. In this respect, the duo (Ben Moore and Matthew Rothwell) does not disappoint – they are imposing and convincing.

The play grapples with spirituality and psychology ranging from Zen Buddhism to continental philosophy, regularly delivering lengthy mantras on how living in contemporary society moulds a person into “replicate roles and replicated careers”. However, it has a tendency to be excessively confessional. At times, the two characters seem to devolve into alternating monologues that effectively patronise the audience whose attention has cause to wander adrift. This habit is not helped by the fact that the play moves at a uniform slow pace.

The movement of the actors, however, bespeak a wonderful appreciation of spatiality. In addition the choreography is a nice foil, a saving grace in fact, for a largely indulgent play of the mind.

Clearly the actors have considerable potential. It’s slightly unfortunate that they are consigned to a script that seems to be more textbook than playbook and one that should be more conscientiously composed for the stage. 

Reviews by Timothy Leonine Tsang

Zoo

Child’s Play

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Deadline

★★★★
Pleasance Dome

Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show

★★★★
SpaceTriplex

A Working Title

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

This new play is a bleak Beckettian comedy drama punctuated with physical theatre, spoken word, clowning and live songs. It tells the story and delves deep in to the minds of the two protagonists, ready to either redefine themselves or give up on life altogether. Delving in to existential philosophy, they argue about the surreal absurdity of life, fight for their beliefs, question everything, dissect their dreams, give a squirrel a parking ticket and almost lose their minds. The play touches on Vedanta Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, spirituality, contemporary society, depression, consciousness, psychology, dreams, addiction and fairy tales.