Crisis Meeting – Project Arts Centre (Cube) – Sept 29-Oct 2 – Review by Frank L.
Kriðpleir and LÓKAL Performing Arts , Iceland
The three actors, dressed in everyday wear, are wandering around the stage looking a little anxious as the audience arrives. They are Icelandic, each has a name which is strange sounding to Anglophone ears and they speak English an Icelandic intonation.
The stage consist of two mundane chairs at the back wall, three domestic trolleys of different sizes (which are not moved) with an eclectic collection of items lying on them including a lap top, post-its, pencils and bottles of soft drinks. Beside one trolley, there are two pairs of runners which are not referred to and are not touched. When everyone is settled the performance begins with a quotation of Josef Albers:
“If one says ‘red’ – the name of color – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.” – Josef Albers
There is then reference to a black jumper and an experiment takes place when a beam of light is shone on the black jumper. These are some of the first steps of being introduced into the wacky world of Kriŏpleir’s creative method. It seems disconnected and indeed there is not any linear progression. We are told one actor has taken a vow of silence before the performance began and will break the silence 45 minutes into the performance. He does so and shares his thoughts with the audience. Another propounds his theory that if you do not follow your dream you will suffer a consequential physical disease or deformity and then demonstrates his theory on one of the other actors. The third has written and is requested to read out a letter which he has already composed to his mother who is dead. In their low-key manner they are able to extract black comic humour from these situations. Frustratingly, they set up a wonderfully macabre scene but then snatched it away as one of the actors no longer wished to participate in it.
Kriŏpleir present a form of theatre which comes from its own unique perspective. It is everything and nothing. It is perplexing. It is not as easy as it seems to be slight. But afterwards, snippets of their performances keep flashing back into the brain.