Theatre Review: 1945: A Passion

Submitted by Alex Eades on Wed, 3 Feb '10 10.19pm
Rating (out of 5)
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Mischa Twitchin
George Tomlinson and Mischa Twitchin
Running time

I have never had as much trouble starting a review and formulating a clear opinion as I have this evening following the night's "experience" that was the sound sculpture 1945.

Throughout the 35 minute running time, a peculiar sense of emptiness invaded me. The longer it went on, the more it meant nothing to me.

Perhaps it was the 9:30pm start that rattled my senses. Perhaps it was the overlong introduction that exhausted us all before anything had actually happened.

Or perhaps, just maybe, it was the main event that was so pretentious and alienating that everyone in the theatre just wanted to jump in a taxi home and hide under their beds.

Tired, confused and incoherent...these were the only things that me and this little piece of "art" shared.

Actually, that is not entirely fair. There were sparks  of brilliance and genuine emotional power. Nothing that I haven't seen or felt before, but real all the same.

The piece takes us on a journey from the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb to...well, nowhere.  Using light, sound bites and clips from the bible it tells us...very little. There is a constant flicking bulb/flame which seems to suggest the emotional and mental conflict of the time as well as an obvious symbol of the bomb...but who cares? We all know this. Maybe I’ve got this wrong, but this was my experience and interpretation. And I don’t think I was alone.

But why was it so difficult for me to start this review?

Well, to be perfectly honest, I have very little to say about it. It was interesting to hear some of the words spoken by Churchill and co. And the music made it all very nice and took us emotionally where we expect to go which, though predictable, still had an effect. But it didn’t speak to me. Not really. Whatever they were trying to say was either incredibly simplistic with little regard for the audiences intelligence or not put across at all well.

Frankly, I wouldn’t bother trying to find out which.