Review: Reptember – Triple Bill C, New Diorama

“You would like to hear that one wouldn’t you”

A second trip this week to Reptember at the New Diorama saw me take in another of The Faction’s triple bills after a strong start with programme A. For me though, programme C didn’t quite hit the same mark with its collection of solo performances. Whether connected or not, these were all new pieces for me so I wonder if that lack of familiarity played into my mindset. Additionally, it didn’t feel like there was quite as much directorial innovation at play here, previous work from The Faction having raised the bar in terms of expectation.

So with Aeschylus‘ Prometheus in a new version by Will Gore, director Rachel Valentine Smith has Faction AD Mark Leipacher up a stepladder, bound there by the dark deeds and secrets of his past but though it makes for an arresting initial image, the static nature it enforces on the piece leaves it feeling a little flat. Like with Borkmann, adapted by Leipacher from Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman, Alexander Guiney’s self-flagellating banker never managed to capture my imagination as he addresses the empty chairs that represents the family he’s let down.

Presented in a new version by Gareth Jandrell, Cervantes’ Dogs Dialogue sees the most interesting physical performance of the evening from Natasha Rickman as a bull mastiff who gains the power of speech in order to tell us of her treatment at the hands of several different masters. Jandrell twists the text interestingly, if a little over-emphatically, to make a compelling overarching point and it is the best of the three. But as I chatted with a friend on leaving, the cumulative effect of the evening becomes a little wearing with the somewhat gloomy nature of the three lengthy pieces.

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (with interval)
Booking until 20th September

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