Saturday Night - Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 8 Oct 2011
Vanishing Point's Interiors follow-up explores similar themes but lacks direction
Vanishing Point’s lovely, imaginative 2009 work, Interiors, revolved around a disparate group of characters at a dinner party. As the audience were cast in the role of voyeurs spying through lit windows the scene was played out in complete silence, the characters’ innermost thoughts being relayed by a third party. This follow-up also offers a wordless peek into lit rooms, with intertwining narratives emerging gradually from the characters’ interactions, but this piece doesn’t deliver the emotional impact of its predecessor.
The most successful elements of Saturday Night are the little intimate details: the euphoria of moving into a new home; the exhilaration of young love; the dread and excitement of taking a pregnancy test. But where Interiors, in its quieter moments, offered a lucid, and deeply moving, insight into the loneliness of human interaction, this piece lacks direction, lumps endless ideas shapelessly together and feels overly preoccupied with inconsequential matters, such as characters not washing their hands after going to the toilet, while packing the scenario with the paraphernalia of domestic horror, nicked from the likes of Polanski’s Repulsion.
Gradually the story fragments, mixing up present action with memories, imagination, dreams, nightmares and scraps from the radio and television, the shifting atmospheres beautifully conveyed by designer Kai Fischer. There are some eerily Lynchian moments towards the end as performers vanish to be replaced by spacemen and chimps, but this seems a heavy handed attempt at meaning in a show whose greatest pleasures are to be found in the everyday.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 29 & Sun 30 Oct.