THESE ARE THE ISOLATE
By Mutation Theatre.
See this show and snap to it.
Another entry from Mutation Theatre, it's been my biggest surprise of the festival so far. Hunting around, it turns out that every review or mention of this piece has been hugely encouraging, but last night I was one of only seven or eight people in attendance and it deserves much better than that. It really is one helluva piece of work.
I won't write much about it now since much of what makes it worth seeing is the experience of discovering it for yourself. The writing is outstanding, with a kind of Schroedinger's Cat quality – you know the experiment where a cat in a box is both alive and dead at the same time until the moment the box is opened and uncertainty is reduced to reality? There are elements of uncertainty at play here, but unlike your standard narrative mystery which involves the withholding of vital facts, this one presents incommensurate realities simultaneously so the mind is forced to switch back and forth between possibilities that can't be reconciled. It's a bit like those pictures that are both a lamp and a pair of faces but the brain can't register both at once.
The performances initially came across as a bit mannered and over-blown but grew on me steadily – I'd say they're heightened rather than exaggerated. Certainly there are moments that really illustrate how the two actors have gone into great detail in their preparation, and it's a rare sight. Make this one a priority, folks. We'll talk more after.