Danse, Morob – Project Arts Centre – Review
As part of Project 50, TheEmergencyRoom and Project Arts Centre – Danse, Morob – 12 January 2017-28 January 2017 7.30pm#
Even in death, they continue to torment Morob. He was a political prisoner and after his death he was buried. Now, after his grave was exhumed, it is discovered his body is missing. His daughter starts to search for the corpse. She uses dogs to follow his scent, tracking him into the wilderness. It is a near hopeless task that forces her to confront a number of characters from her father’s past.
This is a new work by Laurent Gaudé which was specifically written for Olwen Fouéré. They collaborated previously on Sodome, my love. Fouéré has performed a number of monologues in the Project Arts Centre in recent years, working on productions such as Riverrun (based on Finnegans Wake) and Lessness by Samuel Beckett. This new work has three cast members which substantially alters the dynamic from those earlier works. Judith Roddy and Emmanuel Obeya are introduced into the mix.
The stage is almost completely barren with the brick walls exposed on all sides. There are a collection of black bin bags in one corner and a simple table and chairs near the centre. All three actors are already on stage as the audience enters the space. They slowly pace the floor, adding to the atmosphere of apprehension.
The lighting design by Sinéad Wallace is very impressive with dramatic use of light and shadow. The AV is used sparingly but is very effective, projecting scenes from nature and institutional spaces onto the back wall of the set. The story is constantly changing, at times leaving the viewer unsure of what they are witnessing but overall it is quite coherent.
All three actors embrace their parts, fully engaging with the text. It is often difficult as an audience member to concentrate on a long monologue, but Roddy and Obeya bring the tale in different directions, restoring the flagging viewer. They mainly lurk in the background, sometimes interacting physically with Fouéré. They each have one piece of dialogue, shifting the emphasis briefly before Fouéré takes back the limelight. It is an intense play that never lapses, forcing the audience on this difficult but worthwhile journey.
Performed by Olwen Fouéré, Judith Roddy and Emmanuel Obeya
Co-Directed by Olwen Fouéré and Emma Martin
Produced by Jen Coppinger
AV Design by José Miguel Jimenez and Luca Truffarelli
Costume Design by Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Design by Sinéad Wallace
Sound Design by Denis Clohessy
Assistant Sound Design by Sinéad Diskin