Fruits of Labor – Samuel Beckett Theatre – Dublin Theatre Festival – Review
Miet Warlop, Belgium | Oct 13-15
This production opens in almost complete darkness other than a spotlight trained on a woman at the back of the stage. She is wearing a silver, sequin bodysuit and slowly rotates, like a giant disco ball! She stands motionless as the theatre announcements are made and waits for the madness to begin. This piece takes the form of a twisted rock concert. The band can all play their instruments and there is an emphasis on funky bass lines and drums. But really this is a visual feast, with a variety of tricks and toys employed to dazzle your senses.
This is the work of Miet Warlop, who studied as a visual artist. She has been heavily involved in the Belgian theatre and Art scene since her graduation from college in 2004. Miet has previously been in DTF with Mystery Magnet back in 2012. Her performances are known for their striking visual style. Fruits of Labor is her latest work and on Miet’s website, it is described “as deep night music performance functioning as a painkiller for the world we are in.”
You will recognise some of the songs that are played. There is a version of Unchained Melody by the Everly Brothers that moves far from the romantic notions of the lyrics. They are mostly original songs however, with names such as ‘Jesus Groove’, ‘Thoughts on a Billionaire’ and ‘Fucking Flower’.
They make great use of a large styrofoam block, which is attacked from every vantage point. There are moments where the basketball dribbling skills of the performers are exhibited. There is a dramatic bull fighting scene and a car race, all in the minds of the performers. There is also much use of water; spurting, squirting and gushing around the stage.
At the end of the hour-long performance, the stage shows the scars of the events you have witnessed, the detritus left behind after the various assaults on your system. The production inhabits the grey area between a wild rock concert and theatre. Each song comes with its own performance and visual cues, along with a pounding beat and guitar lines. The performance aims to make you smile, to put a touch of madness into your evening, and it more than achieves its goal.
Cast and Creative Team
Concept and Artistic Direction by Miet Warlop
Technical Director: Hugh Roche Kelly
Performed by Timothy Coenen, Seppe Cosyns, Joppe Tanghe, Wietse Tanghe and Miet Warlop
Sound Engineer: Saul Mombaerts, Bart Van Hoydonck
Production Leader: Seppe Cosyns
Information and Tickets
Venue: Samuel Beckett Theatre
Dates: Oct 13 & 14, 7.30pm Oct 15, 2.30pm
Tickets: €25Duration: 55 mins. No Interval.