Pardon / In Cuffs* (Traverse Theatre 2, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 26, 2015 in Theatre


In the interests of fairness, I have to begin this review by saying that this particular performance was marred by accidents with props and set which seemed to affect actors’ concentration and that (perhaps mercifully) the running time was over 10 minutes shorter than advertised. However, it is very difficult to see how even a perfect run-through could have improved this dreadful effort, developed from a concept devised by Belgian theatre maker Valentijn Dhoenens. Three actors (Clara van den Broek, Korneel Hamers and Dhoenens) take turns to face each other as prosecutor and accused at the beginning of a succession of proceedings for criminal offences. Drab staging and dull dialogue (presumably verbatim) are occasionally embellished by absurdist motions by actors that seem out of place and completely meaningless, but, otherwise, the “play” is devoid of drama, emotion and purpose.

Performance date: 19 August 2015

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