Posts Tagged ‘Actors Touring Company’

The Golden Dragon Arcola Theatre 02 September

September 3, 2011


Picture from Edinburgh production

Actors Touring Company kindly sent me an email: ATC would love to invite you to see the show on our official Press Night which will take place on Friday 2nd September. If you are unable to attend the Press Night we would be happy for you to come along on to our Preview Night on Thursday 1st September. Both performances begin at 7.30pm. We will provide you with a free ticket to the performances of your choice as a thank you for your time. 

I was interested to see what a theatre full of bloggers would look like and I’d heard of playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig, so I thought I would go along but pay for my own ticket to ensure the complete impartiality of this blog.

As a first approximation we got something like Georges Perec (La vie mode d’emploi) adapated by Bertolt Brecht and staged in the poor theatre style of Jerzy Grotowski, with plenty of stage directions spoken by the actors, men playing women, old actors playing young characters, undersized furniture…a good night of modern European theatre.

The action concerned the staff and customers of a Vietnamese-Chinese-Thai restaurant and other people living in the block of flats it was located in.  So far so Perec, although the addition of the Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop stretched the boundaries a bit.  As things went on, these stories blended into each other, we encountered a Rabelais-style kingdom-in-a-tooth, the alienation effects were moderated and some of the characters even gained names.  On the other hand, the jokes also grew less frequent and the audience laughed less.

The ending once more played with our expectations of an ending (and offered an instead-of-an-ending, though we could call the rotten tooth spat into the river the objective correlative of a Joycean epiphany I  suppose).  But all in all a good evening of modern European theatre without needing to go beyond E8, even if £ 17 for 70 minutes of five actors and 70p worth of props seems a bit steep.  And you feel hungry again as soon as it’s finished…

Oh yes, the audience–they did appear to be younger, better-looking and more intelligent than the average…