So, I saw a Play a few weeks ago and I liked it enough to write a review:
Glaucoma – CapaTaro Theatre Company
An incendiary ‘call-to-arms’ of a production.
When you’re dealing with the concept of political resistance then surely the only way to begin is with an assault on the senses. This is how Glaucoma begins: with a quite stunning concoction of sound, movement, light and shade. Three voices and three figures with a simple set design that through mesh, gauze and light initially resembles three box jellyfish; floating beautiful and luminous in the dark. The voices are sweet and harmonic but as the movements on the stage become more aggressive, so the words become more staccato and intense; the precise words themselves lost even as the meaning becomes clearer in each moment. It’s a quite extraordinary beginning.
That this level of intensity isn’t maintained is both inevitable and necessary (although part of me would’ve loved to see them try). Instead, we find our three leads imprisoned and discover that the bond between them is not without its tensions and fault lines. Through torture, hunger and sensory deprivation the differences between the three characters are revealed, along with the spots where the cracks between them are likely to appear.
This is accompanied by a slight shift in tone, through the addition of some dark humour. This comes from interactions between our heroines and two older authority figures with ambiguous motives and it should be noted that it is in these moments that the unfinished nature of this version of Glaucoma is revealed.
These tonal shifts are not quite as fluid as they might have been. This is a minor fault with what is without doubt a work in progress and there should be ample opportunity to fix this and further flesh out dialogue to add nuance to an already compelling cast of characters.
This can only be a good thing because it is these characters, and the performing of them, that are Glaucoma’s greatest strengths. Without exception, the performances on display are incredibly strong with each actor bringing something distinctive to the stage: from the Amazon-like intensity of Ines Sampaio, to the china doll fragility of Alice Wolff-Whitehouse; from Eleanor Hurrell’s deceptively gentle strength, to Leah Kirby’s twisted humour and calming maternal love.
Each of them provides a pure drop of inspiration that lingers long in the memory. And that’s the power of Glaucoma: it helps you to see and to consider that in such strange times politically it is our responsibility to stand up for what we believe in and what we believe is right. To stand up and “Start A Movement”.
Glaucoma will be at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden from the 24th – 28th August. Tickets are available now.