Facing both her 80th year and an unveiling of a new piece of artwork, artist Gert has a lot to think about. Not only that, the passage of time is pressing on her mind, causing her to question the course of her life as a whole, her status and integrity as an artist, and the state of art itself in modern society. As she grapples with innumerable questions, she is advised, teased and annoyed by the paintings and sculptures around her as they come to life.
Playwright Katy Matthews offers an entertaining script full of witty and truthful remarks about art today, an even balance of comedy and intelligent, thought-provoking social and critical comment.
Playwright Katy Matthews offers an entertaining script full of witty and truthful remarks about art today, an even balance of comedy and intelligent, thought-provoking social and critical comment. The inclusion of the paintings as walking, talking characters is a very unique and imaginative touch, and all were a joy to watch. Cyril Blake was particularly brilliant as the superior and catty marble bust, Buster, who for the entire performance was confined from the shoulders down in a plinth.
A stand out element of the show was the appearance of our troubled protagonist Gert’s younger self, stepping out of a self-portrait. This opened up touching scenes in which three generations of Gert consider the path they are on and how art has shaped them for better or worse, and each one seemingly looking to the other for answers. It would be remiss not to mention the quality of Lesley Arnold’s performance as Gert, who was at once angry and fragile, with touching glimpses of playfulness.
As a whole, the story is carried very well by the talented cast of six, but Un-titled isn’t a story one should look to in order to find concrete answers to big questions; most of the philosophical issues raised, of which there were many, were left unresolved. Towards the end of the play, this did become a little frustrating as a viewer. However, this could be seen as an accurate translation of feeling from stage to audience as Gert becomes increasingly aggravated by the circular nature of her musings. Overall, Un-titled is a sound production with an abundance of fascinating, philosophical insight.