London diary - Page 2

Cruising to the end of story, and Forced Entertainment's 'The Coming Storm'
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The Coming Storm

The Coming Storm ends up an exercise in failure and resilience at once, since even if no one completes a tale, the audience rushes to fill the void —our minds trained to shape every squiggle into a recognizable human form, however personal or outlandish the starting point. In that rowdy mutual tangle comes quiet reflection from the interstices of language and history.

It left one in just the right frame of mind to receive the last performance of the night, Sight Is the Sense that Dying People Tend to Lose First, Etchells' monologue for New York actor Jim Fletcher (lately of the title role in Elevator Repair Service's acclaimed production, Gatz).

Sight proved no return to narrative but rather a concatenation of eccentric observations and pronouncements, undertaken by a nameless po-faced character standing center stage and meeting the audience's gaze in a free-associative unburdening of "meaning," desultory definitions that went along the lines of "Socks are gloves for the feet. Snow is cold. Water is the same thing as ice. In America things are bigger. America is a country. Korea is also a country." Then, some time later, "Cats are afraid of dogs. Dogs like to chase cats. Some dogs like to bite the tire of a passing car." Throughout this eccentric cataloguing and its naïve reverie, the audience again acts to complete the work wordlessly. Subtle suggestions come, vistas briefly open, demurring exceptions and musings flicker by, as the audience is tossed one wry bone after another, and a slow vague pathos accumulates.

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