Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Surreal fun and games

Blavatsky's Tower

3 Crte Productions , Chapter , May-25-16
Production: Blavatskyís Tower

Company: 3 Crate Productions

Venue: Chapter

Date: 24 Ė 28 May

Moira Buffini is a very well established, award winning playwright and screenwriter. She also trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Itís great that 3 Crate have brought us the opportunity to see her work in Wales.

Each one of the Crates is involved with this production. Peter Scott directs and Hannah Lloyd, and Emma MacNab play important parts in the production. The play clearly stems from the theosophical writings of nineteenth century mystic writer, Helena Blavatsky and particularly her work, The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy.

Weíre in the luxury penthouse at the top of a high-rise block of the flats where lofty dreams can occur, though the sparse set does little to covey any of this. But most things here are a bit topsy-turvy and the interaction of the characters certainly has a surreal touch about it. The architect, Hector Blavatsky lies dying in an off-stage bedroom. Excellent actor, Tony Leader isnít with us for long but he brings to the role the perfect nuances of bewildered surrealism the play demands.

Thereís a lot of banging about; daughter one, Emma MacNab has managed to enlist the help of a doctor to assist her in dragging an armchair right up through the stairs of the tower as she has a fear of the lift. A lot more phobias will emerge from her and her siblings as the play progresses. Macnab once again strikes just the right note of Ďmadnessí in her characterisation. The doctor is the one sane person that has, like the chair, been dragged into this crazy world. He only just gets out in time. Frequently seen, dynamic actor Dean Rehman strives hard to bring normality into this crazy world. Does he succeed, who can tell? He is surprised to see that until the arrival of the chair this luxury apartment is absolutely empty of any furniture or anything else you might normally see in such a place. Except for one small television set low on the floor out of the way in a corner.

This is the way her brother, Roland Blavatsky keeps up with things in the real world. Tough, often bold in manner Tom Hurley perfectly illustrates the sensitivity and child-like intensity the role requires. Like his other sister, Ingrid Blavatsky he is claustrophobic. Though they would deny this, arguing that it is a rational life-choice. They havenít left the flat for a very long time. Itís their attempt to rise above the banalities of the real world or it might be. They donít seem quite certain and neither do we. Like the others Hannah Lloyd brings a note of high comedy to her role but her character is not always a bundle of laughs.

She does have a place where she can escape. Thereís a beautiful garden up on the roof of the high tower where she seems to find peace from time to time. It is also where the extraordinary fiery climax to this play takes place giving the play the rise to its farcical ending.

There is beneath the surreal chitchat a serious play, with fascinating comments on family life, trying to get out. It is also a modern day post Cowardian farce. It all needs a bit more pace and more high-spirited delight in the playing and the directing to give us the full flavour of Buffiniís work.

Reviewed by: Michael KelliganKelligan

back to the list of reviews

This review has been read 1055 times


Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © keith morris / red snapper web designs /