Festival Review: Two Jews Walk Into A Theatre

This is experimental theatre, no fixed dialogue, just general directions in which the conversation may go.

By
Fascinating experimental theatre
Overall
5

Reviewed at the Odeon Theatre on 7 March 2019

Presented by The Adelaide Festival

The production begins with two men sitting on stools facing the audience. Conversation is slow and stilted, slowly we realise that the large sheets of butchers paper in front of them are a sort of prompt. This is experimental theatre, no fixed dialogue, just general directions in which the conversation may go. It becomes obvious that these men are portraying their fathers, and at times their fathers’fathers discussing their sons (them). They are there to see their sons’ show. They discuss Adelaide, the Fringe, the tram system, why the venue is not in the city and other banalities.

This rambling conversation goes on and on, the state of the world is discussed, how to fix the Middle East, whose fault it is anyway and their heritage (such as their changed names) – like any refugee Jew. They joke, they argue, they stop for awkward silences and while giving us a window into their lives (and their fathers) they show us a little of ourselves: are we all destined to repeat mistakes, to become our ancestors?

Finally the instigators of this piece, Gideon Obarzanek and Brian Lipson, stop talking and start moving. Lucy Guerin has choreographed some interesting moves for these two men, both of whom are dancers, that are subtle and evocative but smooth. They move to the brooding music written and performed by Oren Ambarchi. The whole production is fascinating, even if the long pauses are occasionally too long.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue:  Odeon Theatre
Season:  6 – 10 March 2019
Duration:  1hr
Tickets:  $47 -$59

 

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