Theatre in Wales

Plays and dance productions in Wales since 1982...

Unfinished Business
First presented in 2002 by Volcano Theatre Company
cast size:2
At Swansea Museum, August 2002

   There is 1 review of Volcano Theatre Company's Unfinished Business in our database:
Threads to make a tapestry
Unfinished Business
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Swansea Museum
August 23, 2002
Life is unfinished business until it is finished, then it ceases to be life.

Life has many narratives vying with each other for predominance at any one time. This conflict of narratives can make our lives seem unfocused – which, in a sense is what happens here with The Actor (Paul Emmanuel) kicking things off with his own metaphors for life in the original paradoxical mud. And turn your head and you come to a glass case where The Dancer inside (Gillian Lyon) is either dying or slowly being born: a cross between a foetus and a corpse and the mist her ambiguous breathing creates on the glass is the trace being leaves on all existence.

The poignantly minimalist music of The Composer (Patrick Fitzgerald) recalls for me some of John Adams’ pastorals and there is the occasional haunting song or spoken words to music that continues to offer the suggestion of the paradox that life is with their sad beauty.

On tables are laid texts from Mayakovsky to Raymond Carver – sometimes books from their day seeming forlorn with disuse which speaks loudly in a cheapened culture; others on what to do with the last year of your life or with the death of children – almost violently moving at this time of child murder.

What’s offered here are threads to make a tapestry – it’s for you to do the sewing. If you feel lost, bemused by the clutter of living, wondering whether there’s any sense to be made of it then there’s the sketch made as you watch by The Artist (Maria Hayes) of a skeleton in black charcoal laid out beside a seemingly redundant coffin, like the stain of a life on a floor in Hiroshima.

If you want the meaning of life explained for you in three well-made acts this event may not mean much to you, but if you want to share in the process of creativity which is itself the struggle for meaning then you would let The Actress (Fern Smith) lead you into the world of her stories and feel rewarded.

The umbrella paradox is, perhaps, that this vital 45 minutes takes place in an ante-room in Swansea Museum. The Curator (Andrew Deathe) should be applauded for supporting this imaginative excursion into living culture in this city which seems so set against the development of its own unique cultural profile.
Dic Edwards

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