Southside, Edinburgh
August, 2002

** Edward Bond in French: loud, striking and incomprehensible

Apparently they do give out notes about what's being portrayed on stage. I didn't get any, so I didn't get it.

I gather from another review that Edward Bond's war play is about a man who was never born, contemplating what his life would have been like. Well, that makes sense of a sort. Certainly, with my basic French, it was possible to grasp a series of scenes portraying various aspects of life Eating, Selling, Working and how capitalism and conflict inevitably brutalise every activity. But little more.

To underline the point, the three actors are joined onstage by a five-piece hardcore band, who punctuate Bond's scenes with a clutch of loud, fast, standard hardcore numbers and standard hardcore jittering around. (More volume needed on vocals and bass guitar, lads.) They are apparently intended to represent the children of the generation of actors... in which case, it's only fitting that their own "rebellion" should in fact be part of the same structures, sterile, affected and ultimately underpowered.

It's long, slow (music notwithstanding), portentous and much of the time frankly unintelligible: the kind of show that unfortunately perpetuates the Fringe cliché of "difficult foreign productions".

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Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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