Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Incubator Project 2007

The Exquisite Corpse” , by the True/Fiction Theatre Company, was finally performed, as part of the “Incubator Project” in the Weston Studio at the Wales Millennium Centre this last weekend (19th/20th October). Obviously, I’m biased, since I was one of the writers who contributed scenes to the piece (although only two of mine made the final cut), but I was highly impressed with the show, which I caught on the first night, along with the other writers. Prior to the performance, the order in which the unrelated scenes would play out was determined by audience members picking numbers at random. Thus, after each scene, the actors would have to look up at the back-projection to see which number would come up and which turn the story would take next. Not that there was a story, of course – I quickly realised that the best way to appreciate the piece was just to give oneself up to the surrealistic haphazardness of the experience, and relate to the individual scenes on an emotional level as best one could. The technical side of the presentation was flawless, with live music, sound-mixing and image-projection, and the director (Matt Peover) making a virtue of the elaborate scene-changes by rendering them entertaining in themselves and thus inherent to the performance. I don’t know what the other writers (Angharad Devonald, Branwen Davies, Kit Lambert, Tracy Harris) thought of the way their contributions were handled, but my two scenes, both monologues, were extremely well-realised, and the whole piece left the impression of a long (but not too long at around 70 minutes) strange trip through some troubled minds. Even if nothing more comes of this experiment, I’m proud to have been involved.

Sharing the stage on both nights was the Cut The Cr*p Theatre Company, performing Jon Tregenna’s satire “The Prince Of Wales”, about the discovery, or otherwise, of a contemporary descendant of true Welsh royalty. A clever script, some amusing performances and excellent direction, making good use of multimedia resources. The ultimate theme, however, appeared to be the Welsh inferiority complex – a little well-worn, perhaps, and maybe on the wrong side of the fine line between relevance and insularity. And coke-sniffing media scum are perhaps too obvious a target. But it was highly entertaining.


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