Should you have somehow missed the metaphors of scale in the beginning of THERE WILL BE A CLIMAX, there is no subtlety later in the show. The irony of a third-of-a person-sized My Little Pony should gallop it on home. The pony arrives from the ‘heavens’ with a whole heap of other consumer items somewhere towards the climax… sort of climax … well hardly a climax … not my idea of a climax anyway. Abandon all ye preconceptions who enter here!
This production, playing at the Old Fitz Theatre, after a run at the NIDA Director’s Showcase is devised by the company with the aid and abetting of Alexander Berlage. One would consider calling the RSPCA (for Actors not Animals) after seeing the show but they really only have themselves to blame. In front of an indulgent glam rock nod backdrop, all the action takes place on a spinning world. Round, round baby and they sure as shit don’t seem to be able to get off. And in black tie suits, hot and heavy wigs and facepaint yet.
So, there had better be a point to this craziness of choreographic exertion. There is. It’s clear, it’s accessible and even if the end does muddle with one’s thinking on the meaning of this particular discworld, there is ruminating to be done after the 50 minutes of mayhem.
Ahem … silent mayhem. Toby Blome, Oliver Crump, Duncan Ragg, Geneva Schofield, Alex Stylianou, and Contessa Treffone make noise, in their own way, but the grotesques disguised clownishly use eye contact as their main relationship with the audience. This is as they pass by or with the aid of some very fancy, and what appears to be effortless, footwork stand in front of you.
But not for too long! This is ensemble work at its sublime-est. Despite all having a quirky character trait or two, the en-masse work is the cleverest and more complex. Individual ‘bits’ especially with props do tend to show the “do something funny with this” improv roots but the contiguous creation of emotional and revelatory states is what drives the work to its climax. Some, like the a cappella sequence, outstays its welcome but generally the thing whips along and there are a couple of well placed lighting effects to engage the emotions.
The ending of THERE WILL BE A CLIMAX has the genuine pathos of understanding. Is your Teddy sacrificeable to end loneliness when he is the only thing stopping you from being completely isolated? It’s a big picture question writ large on a small prayer wheel of chaos before an ejaculation of enough shiny stuff to greedily offset the green stuff you will walk through as you leave.