Tuesday, 4 December 2012

This Is A Reconstruction - review

Written by: Dombo (@DomOJFryer)

Where's Dom gone?
Camden People's Theatre, London
Was Dom fond?

What would you expect the human race to be remembered by? I bet it isn't television. This Is A Reconstruction is a piece explaining how the end of the world comes about December 21st 2012, retrospectively using the future's interpretation of our final phenomenon: television. It's really not as complicated as it sounds.

The delightfully creative premise is carried through by a series of television programmes, adverts and game shows and is acted out by five terrifically funny women. The cast are experts of timing, barring a few dropped lines and gags which don't quite land.

Despite the best efforts of the company, the narrative and the script isn't quite slick enough to keep the audience's attention throughout the duration, and perhaps needs revising. There are one or two scenes which seem to drag (in a 1 hour play, 5 minutes is far too much time to dedicate to outlining the floor with masking tape), which don't quite fit in with the overall fast paced intensity of the piece.

Technically there are some beautiful moments with sound, creating WW2-esque public address warnings; this works wonderfully towards creating the continued impression that the civilisations of the future are mystified by  the details of the apocalypse and how long it took - BBC news certainly wasn't around in 1066. In contrast to this, the lighting was hugely disappointing, with shadows being cast in the wrong places by the floor lamps, proving to be massively distracting from the enthralling performances on stage.

In the script, there are some lovely satirical moments referencing our celebrity culture and highlighting how much our society revolves around television; take a second to think how often you are glued to the box.

Overall, This Is A Reconstruction is a funny, fast paced piece of theatre with a steller female cast. However, it needs work. Something May Day would benefit from is an outside eye, a director, to fix the technical and blocking problems; it is a great shame that the fantastic performances from the ensemble were overshadowed by, well, shadows. The show has great potential. Often, when you see an all female company, you are pre programmed conjure themes of feminism or love to associate with the show, so it is refreshing to see this crew produce something different. There's just a little reconstruction needed.

This production has now closed.

For more information: http://www.cptheatre.co.uk/event_details
@CamdenPT #Futureshock

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