EUAN is the kind of audacious, absurdist production which you have to approach with an open-mind; yes, it’s weird and confusing and never fully explains itself, but it’s also riveting to watch, and grapples with some timeless existential ideas. In the same vein as Becket’s enigmatic Waiting For Godot, it sees just three male actors interact in the same environment, largely focused on the same problem – what to do about Euan. Who is Euan? Someone they were supposed to be looking after. What does he represent? Well, that’s anyone’s guess.
Brave, baffling and brilliant
The actors in question are skilled at retaining our attention and creating interesting, distinct characters. Between them, the pace of dialogue is deftly controlled, progressing naturally from the plod of casual musings to hammer-and-tongs shouting matches in which each is biting their cues. The one with perhaps the hardest job is the actor playing WHY. His near continual state of extreme anxiety requires exertion and commitment to succeed, and succeed it does. However, it is the strength of their performance as an ensemble which makes the action so affecting. The cast manage to find many moments of well needed comic relief, without compromising on the tension.
As well as the rapid dialogue, the tension is created by a series of epiphanies: despite the overwhelming quantity of information withheld, that which is revealed throughout the play is effectively geared to shock the audience, taking us on a journey of twists and subversions in a way which makes for a suspenseful watch.
You will probably be left with more questions than answers, but the benefit of this is to leave you thinking about it long after you leave, which is almost always a sign of a good play. Brave, baffling and brilliant to boot, I wish more companies had the confidence to take this kind of risk because, as EUAN proves, it can really pay off.