A ‘journey into fear’, Deimos succeeded in one single respect: to instil the everlasting terror of anything billed at 2 hours 50 minutes. Comprised of three desperately uninspired one-act plays - Dorian, Demeter, Diadem - a single narrative unveils itself, connecting them together with all the subtlety of a brick in the face. Dorian manages what I thought was impossible: to make Oscar Wilde bland. We follow Dorian Grey, obsessed with his youth, acting like a scumbag. Then dying. I can’t bring myself to spend any more time on it. In Demeter, phantom figures plague the crew of a ship, picking them off one-by-one. Why? No idea. Diadem: things happen. In a prison. Except it isn’t a prison. Something to do with pharmaceuticals. Oh I give up.
How could this last so long? How, in God’s name, could so little happen in such a long time? I didn’t think it possible to go nearly three hours without feeling a single emotion other than mind-numbing, soul-crushing boredom. There is not one single iota of nuance in script, direction or performance and the mere recollection sends a cold chill down my spine. Somehow every performance managed to be simultaneously under and overacted. It was truly a theatrical miracle. Wooden yet ridiculously over-the-top, it was as if everyone had been directed to move no part of their body apart from their face, with which they wildly over-compensated. A particular highlight was the utterly glorious expression etched onto the face of one of the Demeter phantasms: supposedly malevolent, actually aroused.
I didn’t care about any of the characters, nor was it clear why any of them were doing anything. Paradoxically, it was too short. Events and characterisation occurred with no rhyme nor reason and, what little explanation there was, was so one-dimensional that it would be too obvious even for children’s television. I think most of the time was taken up by melodramatic pausing. White Ink Theatre’s mission statement states that they wish to give the audience the chance to re-examine themselves through exploration of psychology, yet there is no depth to their analysis. It barely brushes the surface. I’d sooner re-examine the price of the ticket.
The only redeeming feature of this show is that it mercifully ended thirty minutes earlier than billed. Utter dross.