Edinburgh Guide
Edinburgh international festival and fringe
Edinburgh : A&E : Festivals Fringe reviews
You are in the Fringe section

Theatre
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
W
X
Y
Music
Comedy
Dance
Childrens




(X) 1 out of 226
Next page
Previous page

Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme



XXX (Page 192).

Drams full glass.
Venue Pleasance Courtyard. (Venue 33.)
Address 60 The Pleasance.
Reviewer Marisa de Andrade.

Present an aesthetically pleasing piece of theatre - expect an applause to echo off the empty auditorium walls. Create a controversial piece boasting police investigation and public outrage; anticipate full houses and first class media attention. It's the trick of the trade. Toy with the taboo, and you're in the big league.

And so I sit in the corner of a theatre preparing itself for XXX's exposition, my notebook safely tucked away, and feeling somewhat embarrassed to be at the appropriately titled play infamous for its sexually explicit content. The Marquis De Sade would have disapproved. It is precisely this fear that he subverts in his Philosophy of the Bedroom. And it's this philosophy that La Fura dels Baus embody to rule-breaking proportions in XXX. If De Sade had had access to cameras, projectors and screens, the internet, revolving stages and swinging, suspending gadgets, he too may have manipulated them to visually simulate his literature. But this was an impossibility in the 17th century, when the mere thought of sadism was already shocking some. Centuries later and it seems that society is still not ready to embrace his lessons. Mostly petrified to even accept or tolerate them.

The audience takes in a dreaded breath as the actor representing De Sade's 'romantic hero', Dolmance, calmly searches for a vulnerable volunteer. He needs his next victim, the attainment of whom thrusts this character into ultimate self-fulfillment at the expense of others. The audience ducks into the shadows of the revealing house lights, forgetting to breathe and avoiding eye contact. De Sade would have snarled at the inhibited response. He relished in the darkness of Nature - death and fornication. The modern rendition of his sadistic beliefs, XXX, is exactly that. A darkly innovative, deeply disturbing theatricalisation of a philosophy old as the hills, but contentious as ever. It is overtly imaginative and offensive to safeguarded conventions, but is so much more than gang-bangs and orgasms.

The virgin Eugenie is ingeniously belittled by overpowering shadows behind a lit screen. Multimedia manipulation makes her transgression from Virgin Mary demeanour to liberated sexual being appear threatening. Intrusive close-ups conjur images which tease a repressed society. They are affecting and longer than absolutely necessary, but are not an excuse for porn in mainstream theatre. XXX encourages freeing the mind of prejudices and other such truths, hidden behind appalling moral convictions. Yet it insists it is all a game. Maintains: "A better world is possible."
Marisa de Andrade 10 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs Aug 6-14 at 20.00.
Company La Fura dels Baus (Spain).


(X) 1 out of 226
Next page
Previous page
Festivals homepage Edinburgh Festival Fringe Edinburgh International Festival Book Festival Film Festival Jazz & Blues Festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Fringe homepage
Theatre
Music
Musicals & Opera
Dance & Physical Theatre
Comedy
Perrier Comedy Awards
Children's shows

Top fringe venues
Theatre Preview

EIF
Reviews & previews

Jazz and Blues Festival
Reviews
Preview

Edinburgh Film Festival 2004
Reviews, diary, and previews


Bulletin boards

Useful Links
Festival sites