You can read 9 more articles this month
MATTHEW LENTON’S beautifully directed piece of detailed and crafted theatre has a structure like none you have seen before.
It starts deceptively, with the small talk between three nurses at a care home as we watch people sitting and sleeping in their chairs.
Under a dim shaft of dawn light, masked figures stoop over a table as they gently paint latex face masks to the strains of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. Are they surgeons or embalmers?
The undercurrent of frustration, pain and fear present in the boredom of waiting to die builds relentlessly, commanding the attention.
Later, a man attempts to get to hospital to visit his mother only to be undressed and put in the clothes and mask of an elderly care home resident. The realisation dawns that his outing was nothing but an illusion of lost time.
The exquisite and crepuscular stage lighting, elegant and minimal design and carefully constructed sound all serve to transport the audience to a plane where reality warps and changes, as a howling wind, a snow storm and echoing voices resound.
Amid this eerie atmosphere children play with light sabres, their innocence and vibrancy marking an obvious yet perfect contradiction to the immobile, detached world of the home.
The cast, in their highly effective masks, powerfully convey the immobility and fragility of old age.
The action builds to an almost Lear-like climax.
Against the dark skyscape projected upstage, breathtaking images appear through the hand-held torchlight — a girl eating cereal, a new-born baby and the angel of death — all to the sound of the idle chat of the care workers on their cigarette break.
Glasgow-based Vanishing Point’s strange and powerful piece juxtaposes the mundane with the epic and provides a landscape to ponder the frightening questions of all our tomorrows.
They’re touring the show again in the autumn and it’s well worth watching out for.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.