A House in Asia
Agrupación Señor Serrano's manipulate show lassoes big ideas
Fusing masculine archetypes like the cigarette advertising legend Marlboro Man, cowboys and melodramatic matinee idols with the real horrors of conflict and venture capitalism, Agrupación Señor Serrano's manipulate show very much captures the zeitgeist, connecting contemporary warfare to the values of consumerism and the myth-making machine of Hollywood.
There are many chilling moments here, with the faceless nature of corruption addressed in the form of an eerily-lit cowboy who sits still centre stage. Scenes of war, both recent and historical, become a creepy kaleidoscope, suggesting both that all wars are part of an ongoing offensive, or that they are connected through a false mythology of good against evil.The repetition of glitchy dialogue and visuals emulate a collective obsession with watching 24-hour news channels and social media and the distancing effect of such an addiction.
Darkly satirical, the tension only briefly diffused by references to the Marx Brothers, bullish rhetoric and a line-dance routine. The whole is like a Cassetteboy mash-up with visuals from Jake and Dinos Chapman's war period. Both in the richness of ideas and its skilled manipulation of theatrical and video technique, A House in Asia is a hard-hitting and strident piece of visual theatre.
Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, run ended