Charlotte Hadfield

The Wedding @ The Playhouse: A Review

I step off the train at Lime Street and head down to the Playhouse, chunks of fudge wrapped up in paper in my pocket, ready for an evening at the theatre. Just as the Playhouse falls into eyesight a woman in a branded company t-shirt obstructs my path – iPad at the ready. Her words fall over each other as she speaks so fast I can only just comprehend what she is saying. “All you need is to click this link – got it? Great. Then download the app – got it? Great. And type your receipt info in here – got it? Great. This app will 100% change your life” she babbles. After 10 minutes of the conversation continuing much in this way, I manage to get past her and I finally sink into my seat in the auditorium.

The curtains draw back as childlike screams fill the room. A woman slides down a green slide landing with a thump into a heap of brown teddy bears at the corner of the stage. One by one other characters join her, sliding down the slide before climbing quickly into a wedding dress. A wedding ceremony follows each of them before they are span around, chucked a brief case and sent on their way.

The performance brought to us by Gecko Theatre Company and led by Amit Lahav fuses together the political and the philosophical. Lahav’s multi-national cast – all speaking in their own languages add to the impact of the performance, making it unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

The pace of this physical performance is intensely energetic. The dance moves are incredible. And the sound directed by Mark Cunningham adds to this intensity filling the auditorium from all angles.

The set is equally impressive with its green slide, rotating work stations and the high frame which holds the leaders up in the background, towering over us.

Although the diversity of tongues may have altered the audiences interpretation of the performance from person to person, the central message is clear: “each of us is a bride, wedded to society.”

The performance closes just as brilliantly as it started, with the entire cast sat on their seats at the edge of the stage, which are no longer draped veils. The cast stamp their feet in a revolutionary way, demanding attention and emphasising their liberation.

I can’t help thinking back to the woman with her iPad outside the Playhouse, speaking so fast just to get people to notice her. Trapped in a contractual obligation with her employer. Trapped in a job she probably doesn’t want to do…Maybe Lahav’s world isn’t an entirely dystopian one after all.

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