Blue Elephant Theatre
Reviewed – 26th November 2017
“awkward mistimed comedy was met with unwavering silence and shuffling of feet”
Blue Elephant Theatre is a welcoming venue tucked away in a corner of South East London which hosted The Tricycle by Bright South Theatre. Adapted from the 1952 Spanish play by Fernando Arrabal, The Tricycle explored the lives of four marginal characters who are lost in an unhelpful world.
Unfortunately, the play suffered from poor acting with many lines lost due to incorrect intonation or speed of delivery. The audience frequently felt no vibrancy or enthusiasm from the piece, instead awkward mistimed comedy was met with unwavering silence and shuffling of feet.
An uninspired set, haphazardly laid out with minimal thought, depleted the overall presentation. Additionally, disorganised lighting changes made little sense with the onstage action and often happened for no obvious reason.
The damning list goes on as I noticed ill fitting music added more confusion and incoherence to the odd choices in direction (Jesús Chavero) and casting. The physicality of the actors is the one and only positive I can draw from this production. They all used their bodies well to physicalise their characters, which gave the audience something to watch at least, throughout this dull interpretation.
The production was generally poorly directed with particularly immature choices of metaphor and representation on stage. Of note, the use of paper rose petals to imitate blood felt very school drama class, and a stick with a sign to represent The Policeman felt unnecessary and childish.
Furthermore, there was no cohesion between script, actors or direction, and poor presentation overall for what had the opportunity to be an interesting, comic piece of absurdist theatre.
Absurd theatre isn’t to everyone’s taste but this shouldn’t be on the menu.
Reviewed by Lucy Marsh
was at the Blue Elephant Theatre