What I usually expect to see on a late weeknight in the Basement Theatre is loud, kooky comedy. But instead on this particular wet and windy Wednesday evening I experienced a chilling and intense performance that had me at the edge of my seat and questioning everything. All thanks to Burrowed Time and Illogical Limbs who have brought a new interpretation of the highly acclaimed Pool (No Water) to the Auckland stage.
Performing this unsettling surreal experience is a troop of six kiwis (Hamish Annan, Amy Atkinson, Michelle Blundell, Katie Burson, Zak Enayat and Grace Goulter) who skillfully manipulate and transform the words of award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill into a skin crawling and utterly euphoric reflection of human experience, accompanied by ever present theme of substance abuse.
The roles of each character and the sequence of actions either explained or performed is not the two dimensional narrative of a conventional storybook play. The words and movements of the characters were constantly in sync with one another like one smooth running machine. Once you begin to distinguish features of individuality in each character you are then intentionally tricked when they synchronise into a single drugged and euphoric entity. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t confused about what was happening a lot of the time, however the intention of the performance wasn’t to understand the facts, but to engage with the dark and trivial themes.
Director Amber Liberté beautifully orchestrates a physical representation of this by allowing the actors paint a detailed yet constantly fluid representation of the uncertainties and jealousies in relationships; juxtaposing regret with triumph and love with jealousy. This play is for the open and abstract minded who are comfortable with being uncomfortable, and seeking a chilling, thrilling and real yet surreal human experience.
What: Pool (No Water)
Who: Hamish Annan, Amy Atkinson, Michelle Blundell, Katie Burson, Zak Enayat and Grace Goulter, Amber Liberté, John Burrows, Lucie Everett-Brown, Anuwela Howarth, Paul Bennet, Emi Pogani, Suzy Smith-Roy, Natasha Lay, Ellen Mason, John Rata
When: 23rd May
Where: The Basement Theare