Existence is too Serious to take Seriously
UMO Ensemble opened a performance featuring text from Samuel Beckett’s the Unnamable, physical theatre and music in the Eulalie Scandiuzzi Space at ACT theatre on April 9th.
Beckett is an extremely difficult author to stage because he writes non-linear confusing novels and plays whose humor that often gets lost because the subject matter deals with the most basic existential question: to go on living or not to go on living. As a result, it is often performed ponderously, tediously and at a snails pace so that the audience is never engaged.
Unfortunately, UMO’s performance followed the pattern of being slow moving, missing out on the existential humor, and not engaging the audience’s attention. For a few scenes, Terry Crane and Lyam White actually connected with the text they were speaking and therefore made a connection with each other and the audience, but otherwise, the cast seemed to be semi-robotic.
From the bios, this was a talented, well trained cast of physical performers, but the direction and the material gave them very little to work with. It seems that the director has to get back to the very basics of theatre production. Why do people sit in a darkened room for one hour? It is to be entertained and enlightened.
At $30 a ticket, this one hour show is far too expensive to recommend.
Fail Better-Beckett Moves UMO. The Eulalie Scandiuzzi Space-ACT Theatre 700 Union St. Downtown Seattle. Thru April 26. Tickets http://acttheatre.org/Tickets/OnStage/FailBetterBeckettMovesUMO#Tickets