YUKIO MISHIMA
BAC (Battersea Arts Centre), London SW11
Opened 15 May, 1991

"Yukio Mishima could best be described as the rapist of fame" well, only if you're intent on being purply declamatory. Writer/director Adam Darius is: the texts of this ensemble dance-mime work (extracts from Mishima's novels intercut with impressionistic biographical commentaries) are delivered Kabuki-fashion, with a volume and exaggeration precluding any emotional engagement with their content. The burden is carried by the performance, as the company of two dozen create aural and visual surroundings in which John-Paul Zaccarini's taut, driven Mishima lives, moves and ultimately commits hara-kiri. Although the available vocabulary of gesture is limited by Darius's choice of style, he has nonetheless created a piece that is often haunting. sometimes viscerally powerful (notably a startling orgy-sequence with (doggerel verse narration) and never tedious.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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