Category: Review

Die 120 Tage Von Sodom: Sex, scatology and deadpan humour

In a two-hour block separated into segments, the Swiss production 120 Days of Sodom carefully dismantles Pier Paolo Pasolini’s notorious ‘art horror’ film, released in 1975. Based on the writings of the Marques de Sade (interest in whose work never seems to fade) it tells the story of a group of fascists who kidnap 18… Read more »

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4D Òptic: Emotional Science

Citing the influence of physicist Stephen Hawking and the author Jorge Luis Borges, and using Bernard Herrmann’s musical score from the Hitchcock film Vertigo for its scene changes, 4D Òptic by the Argentine playwright and director Javier Daulte marks an exciting trip into 2019. This “restoration, not revival,” of Daulte’s 2004 play is absolutely in… Read more »

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The Vibrator Play: Power to the Passions

L'habitació del costat (In the Next Room)

This pitch-perfect Catalan production captures the comedy and charm of Sarah Ruhl’s provocative play In the Next Room / L’habitació del costat. Set in America in the late 19th century, at the time of Thomas Edison’s invention of electrical lighting, the pioneering Dr. Givings receives female patients complaining of ‘hysteria’, to whom he applies a recent… Read more »

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Cronología de las Bestias: the Lies that Bind Us

Cronología de las Bestias. Photo: Javier Naval

In the entertaining thriller play Cronología de las Bestias, written and directed by the Argentine Lautaro Perotti, Spanish actress Carmen Machi is unforgettable as Olvido, a beer-swilling mother with a strange fixation on the washing machine, whose missing son Beltrán shows up behind the sofa after a 12 year absence. Instantly recognised by his antsy aunt… Read more »

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Keep on Walking, Federico: An Ode to the Outsider

Mark Lockyer: Keep on Walking, Federico

Like his first piece, Living With the Lights On, Mark Lockyer’s “love letter to Spain” is an intense, sprawling monologue of inner and outer experiences, realisations of recent and distant past, delivered in an entertaining attack of sincerity. Unlike his first piece, Keep on Walking, Federico is set in an anonymous “authentically Spanish” village on the… Read more »

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Eurohouse/Palmyra: The Great Break-Up

Eurohouse / Palmyra Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas

Frenchman Bertrand Lesca and British-Greek Nasi Voutsas take on the EU and the Syrian crisis in the first two parts of a subversive ‘accidental trilogy’ bound by an austere tragicomic visual language. Accessible and entertaining, expect big themes, character-driven performances and the capacity to shift the mood very suddenly from light to dark. EUROHOUSE Developed… Read more »

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Lali Ayguadé’s ‘iUanMi’ – Four Dancers and a Funeral

iUanMi Lali Ayguadé Co.

A funeral as the setting for the second dance piece in a trilogy is an intriguing departure point in this new creation by the choreographer Lali Ayguadé. iUanMi, like its predecessor Kokoro, is a contemporary dance piece for four performers that explores internal and external worlds and the transformative relationship between them. An enormous curtain… Read more »

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Frankenstein: Shocked into Life and Looking for Love

Joel Joan is the monster in Frankenstein.

In this entertaining homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein a team of Catalan multidisciplinary creators have adjusted the plot of the 1818 original to present an atmospheric if ‘diet’ version of the tale. A Wagneresque soundtrack and enigmatic images of the natural world provide the scenery for the story of mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein, who, in… Read more »

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Nell Leyshon’s rural idyll under an avalanche of apples

It is autumn, the trees are already bare and the apples ripe; in fact, in this Catalan production of Nell Leyshon’s Comfort Me With Apples they are positively gleaming: an impassioned red, a vivid green, and that strange pale Fuji variety that taste like soap. The plentiful presence of the fruit, tumbling from the heavens… Read more »

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Protagonist – Human Nature and Narcissism

Protagonist: Cullberg Ballet / Jefta van Dinther

Without recourse to technological statements or politically-correct diatribes, Protagonist, created by the Dutch/Swedish choreographer Jefta van Dinther for Sweden’s Cullberg Ballet, averts the shock tactics that audiences now expect from contemporary dance performances. Semi-dressed dancers on a semi-dressed stage: red, black; a frame at the back could be scaffolding or gymnastics bars (and are used as both)…. Read more »

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