Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

R-rated Culture

‘In the Beginning was the End’…of my sanity!

By Max Edwards –

In a word? Batshit mental. Ok, that’s two words, but you get the gist. Dreamthinkspeak’s newest project In the Beginning was the End, a site specific work of interactive theatre just next door to the Strand Campus at Somerset, is exactly that. Mental.

However, that’s not a bad thing. It also might just be the coolest thing I’ve seen this year. Situated in tunnels shared by King’s and Somerset House, it is at once disorientating and strangely familiar, an intensely individual experience and something of a communal one. In the Beginning… is a ‘promenade’ piece: the viewer is free to wander corridors and abandoned science labs, both interacting with elements and watching actors, who equally freely interact with the audience. In small groups, people set off at specific times, and there are no limits.

You are as free to leaf through a book on 1980s computing as you are to watch a German scientist write quadratic equations backwards on a room covered in blackboard. The start is truly weird. However, as the viewer progresses deeper into the maze-like tunnels, a sense of purpose starts to emerge. From dimly lit, eerie research labs, you progress to the brightly lit corridors of fictional technology company Fusion, ostensibly on an open day. A series of mishaps occur, and domestic appliances go horribly, horribly wrong, often in hilarious ways.

It has the effect, I’d argue, of performance art meeting theatre. There are dioramas and videos that are external to live-action theatre that audiences are used to, and the main acting that does occur is circular, one 15 minute performance repeated, I assume, throughout the night. In the Beginning’s unique selling point is its careful blend of dystopian future storyline and careful use of the site it is situated in, something that artistic director T can have every reason to be proud of. The tunnels create an astonishing illusion of how one imagines a slightly manic scientific organisation would run, and how they’d be located. Further, the promenade nature of the performance allows for constant clever foreshadowing, playful images repeated in various guises and the story to progress despite the lack of any real intelligible dialogue for the whole 80 minutes I was in the performance space.

The overall effect, then, is a profound mistrust of the self. I found myself constantly questioning whether I’d gotten the gist of something, whether I’d been everywhere, seen everything. With no guidance (all the actors speak in foreign languages – from German to Spanish to French) and no set rules, I felt curiosly detached, yet at the same time bound communally with my fellow audience members. The looks of bafflement on their faces echoed mine, and at one stage I found myself discussing recursion and Da Vinci’s invention of the aqualung with a Banker from Glasgow…

That pretty much sums up the performance to me. It’s a universal. There are bits that will make you crack up and there are bits that will make. All of it, however, will make you and everyone else in your timeslot go ‘Wow’. Yes, it has its faults, and yes, at times it takes its baffling nature a couple of steps too far, but In the Beginning… is an excellent, and above all thought provoking, show.

/home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 19
" data-author-type="
Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 20
" data-author-archived="
Warning: Undefined array key "archived" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 21
">
/home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 41

Warning: Undefined array key "id" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 41
-"
Warning: Undefined array key "archive" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 42
itemscope itemid="" itemtype="https://schema.org/Person" >

Warning: Undefined array key "img" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-avatar.php on line 6

Warning: Undefined array key "show_social_web" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-socialmedia.php on line 8

Warning: Undefined array key "show_social_mail" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-socialmedia.php on line 9

Warning: Undefined array key "show_social_phone" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-socialmedia.php on line 10

Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 19

Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 21

Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 23

Warning: Undefined array key "archive" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 39

Warning: Undefined array key "name" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 43

Warning: Undefined array key "job" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 12

Warning: Undefined array key "job" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 17

Warning: Undefined array key "company" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 19

Warning: Undefined array key "phone" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 28

Warning: Undefined array key "mail" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 38

Warning: Undefined array key "web" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 48

Warning: Undefined array key "bio" in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-bio.php on line 10

Latest

Comment

Staff writer Sophia Chan examines the lack of innovation from US Big Pharma firms and proposes her solutions for how the Biden administration could...

NATO DSG at the headquarters in Brussels NATO DSG at the headquarters in Brussels

Comment

Staff Writer Patrick Schnecker interviews NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels. If the YouTube link does not load, click...

Comment

President of King’s College London (KCL) Israel Society Aurele Tobelem dissects the demands of the student-led coalition protesting at the pro-Palestine encampments. Editor’s note:...

Comment

The last day people can register to vote for the upcoming UK general election will be 18 June – don’t miss out. On 4...

A photo of a street in Delhi A photo of a street in Delhi

Comment

Staff Writers Aryan Pandla and Abhinav Poludasu reflect on the results from the recent election in India, considering its impact on Narendra Modi’s power...


Fatal error: Uncaught wfWAFStorageFileException: Unable to save temporary file for atomic writing. in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/lib/storage/file.php:34 Stack trace: #0 /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/lib/storage/file.php(658): wfWAFStorageFile::atomicFilePutContents() #1 [internal function]: wfWAFStorageFile->saveConfig() #2 {main} thrown in /home/roarnews/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/lib/storage/file.php on line 34