The Words are There
The Space at Surgeons Hall 21.10
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
To observe the narrative behind the story of Mick (represented by Ronan Dempsey) and girlfriend Trish (represented in mop form) is to be privy to the display of emotional abuse that ensues throughout their relationship. Not only this, but it is to recognise the subversion of relationship dynamics. It displays the very fragile and crucial boundaries that exist between romantic connections and matters of manipulation, overseen by the slippery slope of control.
A solo show is no easy feat, and Dempsey does the job well. Perhaps, due to the natural complications of its subject matter, the words are nowhere to be found. From the stylised movements within this performance to the spooked allure of Dempsey, and through the Theatre of Objects medium that this show comes to be signified, perhaps it is best for words to never be uttered and exposed. For such words, in ritual stage acts, become dispersed in air. Such acts cannot be fully realised and must be destroyed.
This is where the allure of the performance resides – in what is not said and cannot be said. What is bestowed to what cannot speak. After all, silence is the centrepiece of this performance. Indeed, the kernels of value arrive through symbology. I am left to succumb to my own thoughts. The hierarchy of importance given to “things” over “characterisation” leaves me to think of the value of everything. The constant music; lighting modifications; shifting sound designs – what do these objects, without life, truly mean in the play? What do I think their purpose are? I may be right or wrong in my deductions. And what of the sun, the stars? Government? Buildings? Technology? What is their importance to humanity? To me? What of control? I cannot know the answer! There are no words in these symbolic structures. All thought must be destroyed?
Yet, I digress. But The Words are There does make you think. The noise within silence grows louder in these current times. The chaos within the taciturn spirit becomes more violent. Culture must participate in the expulsion of repression to fully realise the extent of its messy situation. The Words are There tries to play its part in doing just that.
By Joshua Kaye