Tristan Bates Theatre
Reviewed – 12th April 2018
“filled with a myriad of physical humour and dramatic scenes”
Lucid is the latest devised performance from ‘New Public’, a physical theatre company consisting of Stephanie Bruckner, Dean Elliott, Tom Kelsey, Jo Moss, and Katariina Tamm. Lucid deals with a plethora of familiar dream related qualities such as counting sheep, sleepwalking, flying, and walking around without trousers.
The performance starts as the well-known voice of Siri offers a staccato description of a dream which quickly turns into a nightmare. The voice warps and fades as the sound of alarm clocks overpower the dream. At this point the feel of the play becomes more obvious to the audience when each performer embodies one of the distinct alarm clock sounds showing a high level of physicality but also a constant undertone of humour.
Once the actors are woken up the story quickly begins weaving in and out of different dreams and dreamlike scenarios using only five chairs to create the set. The movements are masterfully choreographed to bring to life different scenes that are made to retain a dream-like quality via changing levels, speeds and sounds.
The performance is highly physical and leaves the audience awestruck as the actors use each other’s bodies and the five chairs to create an eclectic mix of fights, dances, leaps and acrobatic flips. Like dreams, the different scenes are fast paced and jump straight into the exciting bit whether it be a fight, the chance to fly, or a wedding. The plain set transforms instantly with a simple sound cue, a change in costume, or a difference in body language and the audience is forced to use their imaginations to see a car, a chapel, a dingy street, and various other locations for the different dreams.
One scene that stands out is when Stephanie Bruckner’s character begins sleepwalking and uses the other characters’ bodies to walk to a fridge made up by a simple sheet. Here the characters show off their incredible physical abilities as Bruckner is flipped, spun, thrown, and lifted across the stage all whilst wearing a blindfold.
Although it requires focus to follow along with the story and pick up on the small thought out movements, the play is enjoyable from start to finish and is filled with a myriad of physical humour and dramatic scenes to keep the performance fun but intense, a mix that is rarely as successful as in Lucid.
Reviewed by Oliver Jahn
Tristan Bates Theatre until 14th April