Centre College presents After Orpheus, a devised piece of theatre that deals with the many differing experiences of, and approaches to, love. The story follows Eurydice, killed the night before her wedding to Orpheus, as she learns the trials and tribulations of other women, other women who have experienced love. The performance runs at a steady level, while its lack of plot twists and overall character development can, at times, slow down the pace and general momentum of the piece as a whole.
Overall, the company's biggest problem is the confusion of genres; for a play to incorporate and intertwine effectively a number of differing genres it must be expertly written so as to not lose its natural air, and although the script itself is not poor (there are a number of clever one liners) it’s this uncomfortable confusion that ultimately lets the piece down. If the play is to be taken as a sincere exploration of love, the comedy element of the piece needs tweaking, either in the direction and delivery of lines, or the script itself, at present the occasional comedic line does not sit comfortably with its audience.
The general delivery of the piece was, in the most part, enjoyable. My problem with regards the actors was that on occasion line delivery, movement around the stage and general embodiment of character appeared rather over-rehearsed. The actors were often aware of their audience, and we knew this, whether it be a wry smile or the general flicker of the eye to deviate the characters eye line, some members of the company did not seem one hundred per cent committed to their characters. Although, it is evident that the group work well as an ensemble, clumsiness of the initial entrance aside.
I believe with some refining of the script to really focus the proposed genre and overall effect of the piece and some clear direction for the actors regarding their intentions towards their audience the piece could develop nicely. There is a concept there but at present the Centre College only skim the surface of it. Until then their genre confusion, likely to be due to the devised nature of the piece, will unfortunately continue to prevent After Orpheus reaching its full potential.