Here’s what happens in order: A parody of bourgeois conversation by actors in black morphsuits; a light show to the gaiety of the
All In’s success in opening and closing itself proves that Atresbandes have something going on.
“A darkly playful exploration of the millennial condition” the Catalan company Atresbandes claim in their description. Well, the only accurate part of the statement is that some condition is explored. Not millenial - All In is too vague for that - and not playful, unless rampant eclecticism and abrasiveness is playful. It’s not dark either: it’s more upsetting than dark.
The condition explored is alienation which is a pretty standard theme to contemplate especially in the soul-searching Summerhall. As bitty as it may seem, every part of All In is connected in its look at groups and what it feels like to be in and out of one. That should be great but the only element that entices is the play’s bookends. The middle, the sandwich meat of the show, is completely unpalatable. It doesn’t feel worth it to sit through the segment about friends and making meals; it’s the longest and most monochromatic experience of All In and it ruins it in its humourlessness. It made me want to scream “I get it!” and leave.
On any interpretation of the goings-on, nothing rouses, even in a Brexit-centred take. It’s possible, given that one character excludes himself for his foibles and from the mention that the Ode to Joy is the EU’s unofficial anthem, that the work is some expression of the loss suffering at the hands of our country’s majority.
This reading can’t revive an already leaden body. All In’s success in opening and closing itself proves that Atresbandes have something going on. They can do more without such obnoxious displays and I’m not being stuffy here. The show is, for its bulk, unedifying from all points of view.