From the Mouths of the Gods

The ever experimental Flanagan Collective is back with their new show, From the Mouths of the Gods, all about maths, free will, and determinism, with a little bit of kissing thrown in. It’s certainly an interesting group of topics to explore, but unfortunately it all becomes a bit too wrapped up in its own thesis to completely engage and excite the audience.

More of a work in-progress rather, than a fully fledged piece of theatre.

The Flanagan Collective follow in the footsteps of many other experimental theatre groups by inviting a different actor to perform each afternoon, with some help from a volunteer in the audience. It’s a brave move, and in a show dealing with randomness and probability. it’s a stroke of genius to randomize the actors as well. But, unfortunately, it slightly falls flat, as the script doesn’t seem to let the actor engage the audience in any great depth. There are moments that do invite discussion and debate such as if we believe in God and how we come up with our moral compasses, but they come across as forced and disconnected with the rest of the show, even though it does eventually become clear why they were included. Furthermore the complex, and sometimes wordy, arguments being discussed can trip up the cold-reading actor, meaning the show’s flow gets interrupted a bit too often. It’s definitely worth noting that each performance is inherently and irrevocably different with each random pairing, so there are bound to be better and worse performances – fittingly, it is down to the luck of the draw.

It’s a shame that it doesn’t particularly work in practise, as it’s a very striking and well thought out concept that’s bursting with potential. However, it still feels like From the Mouths of the Gods is more of a work in-progress rather, than a fully fledged piece of theatre.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

This is a show about free will, determinism, maths and kissing. Inspired by the probabilistic free will theories of Tom Smith, the show is performed by one actor and one audience member picked from the assembled crowd. A show about making the fictional become real; about gender, age and relationships; about the huge improbability of us all being right here, right now. From the internationally award-winning company behind Beulah, ***** (Scotsman), and the 'stratospheric' Fable (Herald), The Flanagan Collective are fresh from a New York transfer and an award-winning season in Adelaide.

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