Awoman sits on a chair and skeins of wool are pulled around her. She is all tied up. A mirror swings back and forth. A man prepares a noose. He puts it around his neck and kicks away the chair. Red wine runs like blood over his head. The man lives. Yes, there is alchemy and there are transformations in this performance piece from the Russian Akhe group, who describe their work as «living body installations» and owe as much to the visual arts and cinema as they do to any kind of theatre.
This is a real cat’s cradle of a show — complex, baffling, difficult — but it is impossible not to be caught up in the puzzle. It draws you in and constantly surprises you with its playfulness and terrible despair. This is, I think, a show about death — the death of culture, the death of a country, the death of a soul. It assaults the eye and worries away at the mind with its Beckett-like stillness and clownishly macabre sense of humour. This is a piece in which you always see the skull beneath the skin, the tragedy in the joke and hear the clock relentlessly ticking down for all humanity. Dizzying, dense and immensely satisfying, it is worth wrestling with.
Source: The Guardian
Author: Press Lyn Gardner
Tuesday August 12, 2003