Theatre review: No Ready Made Men
- Gareth K Vile
- 20 April 2015
Ueinzz blur the lines of theatre and performance at Arika Episode 7
'Close to dance, sometimes,' say the introduction to Ueinzz's performance, and in its allusive, fragmented scenarios, No Ready Made Men shares the poetic resonances sounded by choreography. The plot is unclear, although it ranges from Columbus' arrival in the New World through the pessimistic predictions of Cassandra, and its story dissolves into a series of episodes that suggest themes of power, desire and mythical meanings without resolving into a statement of intent.
No Ready Made Men is part of Arika's Episode 7, an investigation into alternative ways to think about caring. Ueinzz, as a company, were formed from a psychiatric care group, and the company's process and performances insist on offering not a traditional polished show but a looser presentation that allows the performers to follow their inclinations. There are plenty of examples of how this happens – the gestures are less formal than in a typical play – and the structure gives different actors chances to take the lead. Although certain characters and ideas lead the play, there is a sense of a collective approach that echoes a Greek chorus.
After a spoken introduction, the scenes revolve around interactions and power-relationships in the group: one character appears as a leader, another the prophetess and, in a startling dramatic choreography, a sacrifice appears to be made. Yet the events seem self-contained, difficult to interpret in easy terms but building a mood that is subtly disturbing and pictures a fragmented world, victim to the aggression and the passions of the cast. Ueinzz gently attack the conventional notions of theatre and offer instead a series of questions about colonialism, about strength and about theatre itself, not through direct statements but as part of an atmosphere or texture.
No Ready Made Men, Tramway, Glasgow, Sun 19 Apr.