It wasn't applause of wild enthusiasm that sounded at the end of this... this thing, nor of strained politeness, but of sheer bewilderment – "What the hell was that?" Well, it was wordless (apart from some Japanese chanting and a muted rendition of "Mona Lisa" by a cowled guitarist), 90 minutes long and visually gobsmacking from start to finish. It's probably "about" regeneration and cyclicality, but meaning is secondary to the spectacle.
In a limbo festooned with agricultural implements, bookcases and rotting vegetation, a Green Man (who, it transpires, carries a packet of Mates – there's eco-consciousness for you) and a sort of Spirit of the Intellect play with the desires and fantasies of four arrivals. A missing limb is re-grafted, there's a kind of bread-slapping square dance and towards the close an orgy of destruction with hatchet and spark-showering circular saw. All this plus a driving live and taped soundtrack and beautiful sunset backdrops. I could have hoped for a shade more mad-bastard frenzy and a shade less ceremonial poise; either way up, though, it's safe to say you won't see anything quite like this elsewhere.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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