To Have Done with the Judgement of God

Thu 2nd – Mon 27th August 2018

reviews

Georgina Macrae

at 22:39 on 15th Aug 2018

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This team of six exhibit some great physical theatre. They have the confidence and ability to lift one another, throw themselves at one another, and the energy to dance passionately for long sequences. However, I can’t call this a show. It is a bit of a mess and I was lost from the very start.

The initial set up looks mysterious… there’s a sack in the centre, slightly reminiscent of the spawn of some Doctor Who creature. But the play is broken into long passages of unbroken speech, then long dance sequences. Neither really tells the audience anything, and they clash with one another. It’s disappointing that the impressive dancing doesn’t follow any sort of development. It has energy but lacks both direction and purpose, so these six skilled dancers throw themselves into aggressive sequences for visual effect only, not adding much to the plot and a far throw from its advertised topic, ‘… the Judgement of God’.

The first sequence of physical theatre has a clear trajectory but was also quickly self-explanatory. The interactions between carers/teachers and infantile men are touching and also individual to each man. Unfortunately, this sequence loses its magic after about ten minutes, and doesn't stop for a further five. Speeches about "farts" and "shits" informing us of our bodies and of being are too discordant to convey much. And by the end, suggestions of things like “reinventing microbes” in order to change God, or stripping and "remaking" man’s “anatomy”, are just erratic.

The uses of darkness and whispering in pitch black would be eerie if it weren't undermined by the pub-goers, who could be heard through the walls. The last sequence of the show is odd and disturbing but – having next to no justification which I can understand – this almost makes it humorous, rather than haunting.

This production has ambition but never really gives itself any journey or anywhere to go; the audience may need prior knowledge of Antonin Artaud in order to understand the production. I did not understand much at all. I recommend the cast to focus on their almost acrobatic physical-theatre talents and to abandon the long stretches of sharing and overlapping cues.

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Hugh Kapernaros

at 10:02 on 16th Aug 2018

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Sitting down and reading an Anton Artaud essay is no easy feat. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never tried, but I imagine it’s tough. Even more difficult is tackling his surrealist play “To Have Done With the Judgement of God”, which was attempted by the young theatre group Fear No Colours. Unfortunately the French dramatist’s experimentalism proved a bit too much to handle, and despite an acrobatic and ambitious cast, the show fell short of a sense of cohesion.

There was flesh, writhing limbs and bodies emerging from a plastic egg to be trained into capitalist drones. A battle between man and nature broke out in a bleak depiction of industrial society. Innovative choreography and use of the stage saw actors thrashing around and crawling into the audience, but the intentionally severe atmosphere was let down by clumsy choral monologues, which undercut a sense they truly knew the power of their words.

There’s no denying the cast’s athleticism. The highlight of the show was their fearless and occasionally reckless physical theatre. The mid-section’s extended movement sequence was an impressive spectacle of flips, punches and caresses - a whirlwind of action that was genuinely enjoyable. Nevertheless, I was regrettably disappointed when it was over and the cast once again continued with awkward speech.

The performance was a fair attempt by a brave young cast. While I can’t fault their dedication, they were lacking the refinement and depth to allow such a complex piece of theatre to truly come alive and connect. I don’t deny that were some good moments, creative choreography and visually striking scenes. It’s just that they weren’t enough to balance out the bad, and leave me feeling as if I’d just seen a tight performance.

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