Poet Victor Neuburg was once turned into a camel by Aleister Crowley (like the man in the Python sketch, he got better). Oxygen House's new Crowley play, too, is something of a horse designed by a committee: the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Writer Grant Morrison is preoccupied with the early twentieth-century breakdown of the old intellectual orders. Neuburg, though, cannot deflate the poetic excesses of Crowley – he is too ineffectual to work as a central character. The play is technically ravishing and filled with sonorous pronouncements, but some self-deprecating humour would not go amiss.
Written for The Independent.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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