January 19, 2013

The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre.

Not that evacuation, the one indicated in the previous post. No, that one has once again been deferred until the next bout of madness strikes. We're not leaving. Mere practicality cannot force us.

No, I'm referring to actual theatre, specifically prankster collective Shunt's latest exercise in audience destabilisation, The Architects.

Shunt have had their ups and downs over the years, but this is easily the best thing they've done since Dance Bear Dance*, and probably their most straightforwardly entertaining piece ever (although still not at all straightforward). It's consistently funny for most of its duration, even when also quite sinister.

- Play the evacuation music!


- ... Do you have anything else?

I am reluctant to give too much away, because it's on for a couple more weeks. If you're reading this in that time, and you're in the neighbourhood, go! But, let's face it: you aren't, and you won't.

Building -- extremely loosely -- on the myth of Minos' labyrinth, the show sticks the audience in a literal maze before it even starts, and then does its utmost to wrongfoot them repeatedly on their decadent cruise into the unknown. It's as technically accomplished as ever, with lots of cinematic cutting via blackouts, and some very nice interaction between the live performers and their video counterparts. Shunt's endings are always a bit uncertain, and this one is no exception, but the images are striking and the whole experience very memorable.

We are not from Denmark

But you knew that

As I said before, if you get the chance, go. And wrap up warm. And (no, really) go to the toilet while you're there.

* It turns out I said pretty much exactly the same thing about Money. Well this is better. And I also used the same Pynchon quote the first time I talked about Shunt on WT. I am a prisoner of my own references; but it fits better this time.

Posted by matt at January 19, 2013 11:05 PM