Sunday, May 3, 2009


The STC's Wonderful World of Dissocia (Anthony Neilson) is one of those plays which you are not meant to reveal the plot but you are meant to encourage people to stay after interval. That (you must stay) is always a bit worrying though often right. Even, or especially, in opera. So read on at your own risk. I don't know what I'll end up saying, but I'm unlikely to be too circumspect. 

What I did like about this play is the underlying tenet that we are creating our own reality. To be honest, that was why we went. Anything which deals with our mind games, or brain games, or however you care to deconstruct the processes, is on the right track for me.

The play was written a bit backwards, the second part (you must stay) first, and the first part workshopped with the actors as time was running out for the opening (Edinburgh 2004). I'm afraid it shows. Give a man a hammer. Using the promising device of lost time (they had time on their mind and not on their hands remember) as a trigger to another reality, we are taken on a wild anarchic journey through one woman's fears, victimisations, and fused childhood memories, in a pyshco pop world of funny punch lines and shock situations which lose much of their giggle and all of their shock way before we finally get to the interval. But you must stay they all said. To be fair, K absolutely loved it, and true, there were some great moments, but scissors please.

Like most others, fortunately we went back. The hospital sequence, which drives the whole work and is the antithesis of where we had been, is cold, clinical and colourless, day to night, night to day, repeat it, repeat it, repeat it. This was abandonment, whatever the dressings. Is abandonment and rejection our most primal fear, our only fear, our genesis? The boyfriend's final juvenile selfish rant was itself almost worth the night. I thought this was maybe what was penned first, and all else flowed, not entirely satisfactorily, from it.

It was a fine production, beautifully dressed, and I would imagine took lots of hard work to get right.

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