Great Artists Steal, Space @ Jeffrey Street (Venue 45), Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info

Seamus Collins (writer), Joanne Allan (director)
Cédric Mérillon (Younger Man), Siva Nagapattinam Kasi (The Man), and Mélanie Tanneau (The Woman)

Running time

Picasso is attributed with the saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Who knows the truth of that but it may lie somewhere in this world première of an absurdist play from new member of Theatraverse, writer Seamus Collins. The Paris-based Lecoq-trained company specialises in the role of words and communication and Collins’ play has two languages functioning in tandem throughout.
Welcome to the higgledy piggledy world of inventor extraordinaire The Man (Siva Nagapattinam Kasi) and his bread baking wife, The Woman (Mélanie Tanneau). With painted white faces and clothes of an indeterminate time, they speak in a kind of novice version of English that is almost but not quite right. They call it “Anglish”. There is a loud knock on the door and The Younger Man (Cédric Mérillon) enters speaking “Franche”, a simple yet fully formed French.
In classic absurdist tradition, familiar human behaviour is distilled and viewed through a bizarre prism. Here we witness the recognisable traits of male pride and pretentious pomposity; the compromises of marriage; courtship, love and jealousy; the ownership of ideas like the invention or re-invention of ‘the weeel’ - all done through linguistic twisting between French and English. Cruelty and murder feature as part of these dynamics that are part of the eternal unsatisfying cycle of life affirmed by the final loud knock at the door.

This be classic comic absurdist theatre for now.

Theatraverse performed a preview performance of Great Artists Steal at the Olympus Theatre in Gloucester on 25th July as part of the international JOLT Festival, where they were artists in residence during the month of July.

Mon-Weds £8/£6; Thurs-Sat £9/£7
1st - 23rd August (not Sundays)