5-31 August (ex. 17,24) 12.35
Black out. A guitar’s strings are teased as the lights come up on a cluster of interlaced bodies that bind together to form a toilet cubicle centre stage. So the UCLU Runaground’s ensemble takes their first physical form, on which Diabetes, a Greek actor, and Hepatitis, a playwright, are desperately discussing how to end their play.
From the offset this intimate theatre company revives Allen’s 1975 one act comedy with terrific aplomb, throwing the audience back and forth between the tangled worlds of Ancient Greece and modern day Manhattan, accepting each new absurd interaction along the way. Indeed characters including Blanche du Bois, Doris Levine, Groucho Marx and the great Zeus pour out inexplicably from the wings and the audience, seemingly unraveling the constantly moving threads of plot.
This play demonstrates the sparkling imagination and intelligence of Allen, as he casually drops metaphysical and philosophical questions, offering great scope to those performing it. This is where the real strength of the show lies; in the slick, physical and fantastically imaginative delivery by the UCLU Runaground’s cast. They keep the pace quick and the material engaging through highly polished and synchronized choreography, building the set with their own bodies as the scenes change. All this is then set off against atmospheric guitar music.
A sterling and fascinating performance by all; the polished lead actors were effectively showcased by the deftness of the ensemble. A worthy play and excellent value for money.