By Jacky Ivimy
Park Theatre 90, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP to 29 December 2018.
Mon-Sat 7.45pm Mat Thu & Sat 3.15pm
Runs 90 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7070 0876
Review: William Russell 11 December
Curiouser and curiouser but fascinating
This is a dazzling journey into an underworld ruled over by Moloch, some sort of pagan god undertaken by Miranda, a young girl abused by her father and comforting her dying grandmother when she is swept away into a nightmare. She is helped by a spirit guide not a million miles removed from her grandmother, hindered by a malicious servant, half clown, half Puck, and encounters a series of figures from the past as she discovers how man has wasted the world. It is not the clearest of texts and just what Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Marcuse, R.D. Laing, Minal Patel and Stokely Carmichael have to contribute is wildly variable and seems to be based on contributions to a Dialectics of Liberation Congress held at the Round House in 1967.
Ivimy undoubtedly has a lot she wants to get off her chest and even if one is left bemused on its held transfixed by a terrific production by director Adebayo Bolaji and the versatility of the cast. Mary Nyambura is a touching innocent abroad learning what has been done, what she must do, and there is an over the top, eye-catching performance from Benjamin Victor as the servant, a raddled, painted clown figure who is not to be trusted. The production uses all sorts of devices from shadow play to mysterious objects which open up into something else, from masks to dazzling light and even if one might dispute the content of some of the text there is no denying that this is theatre at its most inventive and exciting. The performances are all good, but it is Victor who holds the attention as he glides round the stage, retreats up a vertical ladder to watch the goings on, intervenes and threatens. It is all speeded on its way by the musicians, Kate Luxmoore and Stanley Ohios whose playing adds to the sense of a world of out of kilter.
Miranda: Mary Nuambura.
Ayida Wedo: Sabina Cameron.
The Servant: Benjamin Victor.
Allen Ginsberg: Robert Lightfoot.
Herbert Marcuse: Russell Anthony.
R.D. Laing: Rhys Anderson.
Gregory Bateson: Minal Patel.
Stokely Carmichael: Adrian Decosta.
Director: Adebayo Bolaji.
Lighting Designer: Jonathan Samuels.
Costume Design: Joey A Frenette.
Designer: Carl Robertshaw.
Composer: Kate Luxmoore.
Puppeteer: Jenny Dee.