Pros: Really touching narratives, with spot on symbolic physical sequences.
Cons: Some lacklustre acting and a soundtrack not always as compelling as the movements.
Well, hello there! I’m back in the Cronx (the nickname for Croydon) to serve you the latest in theatre here. This week is all about Mimeomia from the Broken Chair theatre company at Theatre Utopia, and despite it being the shortest show I’ve ever reviewed (only half an hour) there’s lots to talk about!
Mimeomia is an original piece of devised work exploring masculinity and vulnerability in modern day society wholly through physical theatre. The five actors involved definitely deserve credit for their direction. In short sequences, they focus on two main narratives: a man’s depression causing his relationship to descend into despair, and another man realising that he is gay. The two narratives are split, and crescendo into a final monologue about the impacts the phrase ‘man-up’ can have.
For the most part, Mimeomia was incredibly moving. I particularly liked the narrative following the closeted gay man as that storyline featured the most inventive physical theatre, such as a dance between the man and a woman where another man creeps up on them and replaces the woman, symbolising the man realising his attraction to men). However, what keeps Mimeomia from achieving perfection is that this ingenuity was not consistent throughout.
The ensemble had some strong players, but also some weaker actors who could not maintain the intensity needed for the powerhouse performances. Moreover, some of the physical theatre sequences did not have the same gravitas as others, as they used more common, simpler moves which were less evocative than the complex routines, such as, to symbolise the troubled couple’s relationship collapsing, the pair managed to fall to the ground whilst balancing one another, an impressive and communicative visual feat.
My critique is not to suggest that Mimeomia is a bad show; quite the contrary. It has a lot of potential, and anyone in the indie-fringe scene should definitely check it out. It is clear Broken Chair are passionate about what they do and the topics they discuss (being as so kind to offer a chance to discuss the performance after the show). With some tweaking I know Mimeomia will be as thought-provoking as other productions which explore masculinity. It just needs to be consistent.
Devised By: Broken Chair
Box Office: 07774 013730
Booking Link: https://www.tickettext.co.uk/theatreutopia/
Booking Until: 16 July 2017 (at Theatre Utopia, then at The Courtyard Theatre from 03 August 2017 to 05 August 2017)