Part of Camden Fringe 2013
Diana De Fex
Directed by Marion Pierce
Pros: At times exciting and always challenging.
Cons: Some glimpses of originality but too few.
Our Verdict: Be prepared to be charmed by this woman whose story really packs a punch to the gut.
|Courtesy of Etcetera Theatre|
Good theatre will make you think, great theatre will leave you a changed person. On paper this autobiographical one-woman show should do both. It doesn’t. There are, however, moments of genius. Yet too often the pace lags and I was left with the feeling that I’d seen a lot of this before.
Psychogeography is defined as the study of the effects of the physical environment on people’s feelings and behaviour. We are introduced to Diana as a baby and follow her journey from childhood in 1990s Medellin, the most violent city in the world and also its murder capital, through to her attempts to settle in the United States and later Europe. Diana performs every character, using costume props to differentiate between each. There were several longish gaps between costume changes which made the pace of the performance lag. This is a scary, chilling story but such gaps tend to make the play drag.
Diana is clearly a woman with much charisma and intelligence. I would love to see her speak her story seated at the head of a table with a rowdy crowd gathered around her in an old boozer. And that is essentially the point: this story doesn’t need theatrical embellishments or a paying audience to be shared. It is already so full of drama and intrigue that anything laden on top would serves to diminish its significance.
Diana’s performance is good. Each character is bedded down in the audience’s imagination. The play can at times feel overly long and daunting, though occasional bursts of song and dance help to ease the prevailing starkness. I admire the courage of both performer and director. What this whole performance needs though is a bit more variation. An hour of scary storytelling can be too demanding of an audience, especially at a matinee. That having been said, this performance is still in its early days and I am giving it three stars because I have faith in its future.
Seen the show yourself? Agree or disagree? Submit your own review with our Camden Fringe Big Audience Project.
Psycho-geography: An Exercise To Remember My Future runs at the Etcetera Theatre until 4th August 2013.
Book in person or book online www.camdenfringe.com/index.php?sort=venue&id=3&listvenue=1&go=