Stephanie Vlahos has created something unusual and a little out of the ordinary in this piece. As a reviewer we are given definitions for star ratings; 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent. Sadly there is no star rating for WTF? If there was, this show would get it and I don't mean that in a negative way.
The story line centres on John K Mercury and their suicidal volunteering for a one way trip to the planet Mars. Around this theme is a concretion of dialogue and still visuals, they are both occasionally opaque, difficult to follow and interpret, with lines like: 'Deep space feels like inverted energy', which is neither clear nor particularly easy to understand, and there is lot of similar dialogue, some of it cliched, some of it poetically beautiful and raising genuinely challenging and interesting questions. There are also other sections which attempt raise profound points but just sound ridiculous.
I never found myself emotionally engaged with the challenges John K Mercury faced, mostly because of his confounding dialogue and I never felt formally introduced to their intention and convictions and if I was it was buried beneath an avalanche of pseudo intellectualism. I frankly didn't care what happened to him and consequentially I was left with only a blighted psychological analysis of the situation.
I found myself replaying some of the work to try and grasp and understand the text, but it was frequently difficult, this maybe more a reflection on me than the story, but I challenge anyone to follow and fully understand the intent of some of the material.
Creating and delivering this type of work is always a challenge and I would be interested to see what else Stephanie Vlahos might create, I genuinely hope it would be more accessible than this piece.
Aug 6 - 29 (Online - Anytime)