Archive for August 8th, 2017

BRUTAL CESSATION

Brutal Cessation

The claustrophobic intensity of this Milly Thomas play is well suited to the confines of the Assembly Box as the relationship being painfully dissected feels like tow people boxed into their relationship by what is expected of them by social norms. However it is what is left unsaid that harbours resentment and what at the art of the play feels like familiarity that only couples forge in their relationship but pretty soon it is obvious something darker and more malevolent is manifesting beneath the surface; the systematic breakdown of a relationship.
It is the challenges that make up a relationship that are put on trial here and the series of everyday routines leading to a battlefield of proving a point to whatever end.
Thus we are treated to the female character –Lydia Larson- describing in intricate detail a violent fantasy regarding the male character-Alan Mahon- showing that beneath the lovey-dovey exterior some serious issues are rising to the surface via her subconscious. Demanding, baiting, provoking and pleading their relationship seems to be all about control; both losing and gaining it.
A civilised mealtime quickly degenerates into something far darker and the symbolic smashing of a water melon emphasises and heightens the tensions even further. In a twist, dialogue is delivered by one character then later repeated by the other to disorientate the senses even further.
Directed by Bethany Pitts Brutal Cessation is an involving and engaging production and its two actors deliver astounding and intense performances which more than do the material justice.
****
Brutal Cessation is on at Assembly George Square at 4.20pm until August 28th (not 14th)

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CONFABULATION!

Confabulation!

I think it’s a scenario most of us are familiar with; the re-telling of a story from our past embellished with intricate details but which, although we believe it ourselves during the re-telling, in fact turns out to be a false memory. If what defines us are our memories and we are defined by such memories then how can we trust ourselves if said memories are false?
This is the subject Eamonn Fleming sets out to tackle in his one man show Confabulation! – confabulation being the psychiatric word for fabricating memories which lodge themselves in our brains as truths.
With Fleming it began with a Motorhead gig in his early teenage years which he can describe in vivid detail even down to the set list, who he was with and how it made him feel. There is just one problem however; he wasn’t actually there! In fact he was prohibited from going by his parents but several of his friends went and he seems to have involuntarily assimilated their experience to the point it has become his own.
An amiable and pleasant show Confabulation! takes a light-hearted look at this phenomena using scientific research-nothing too baffling or incomprehensible- shot through with humour and anecdotes.
All in all Confabulation! is a pleasant enough show which looks at something which effects most of us even if we are unaware of it. Fleming is a capable enough performer with a great delivery who holds the audience’s interest but his material and subject matter is hardly earth shattering.
***
Confabulation! is on at Pleasance Courtyard until August 27th at 1.40pm