The wilful disregard for anything approaching proper narrative or coherence even – is an admirable trait on full display in this production created by Takdaja. Structured as a cabaret-like series of individual performances hung together on the most abstract of themes, the company of three drifts through melancholic, bruised scenarios, with intimations of system breakdown and collapse. The dreamy, angry, resigned, defiant, and broken characters inhabit apocalyptic landscapes, floating aimlessly, their searches elusive. They tumble in a fluid fugue of gender, sexuality, and identity, disconnected. Language cycles between Polish, German, and English, a brew of alienated voices.

No beginning or ending is on offer – the audience is told quite pointedly after an opening monologue that there is no traditional start. And a gentle chiding sees us out the door, quite bewilderingly. After 21 minutes, a player informs us that there will be no interval and proceeds to break down mathematically to the infinitesimal degree how much of the running time has elapsed. Group members harangue the audience (no one is left unscathed). True to its title, the fruit will be spilt-thrown, tossed, and slammed. Juices pour across the floor like blood spray. The feeling is that something has passed, something crucial and vital, a nutrient forever lost.

Helping enormously to craft a convincing environment of ruin is a minimalist, yet brutally efficient, production design, an industrial wasteland of relics and leftovers. Fog enshrouds every movement as if toxic air bullies every step. The space has been claimed, blown apart. The lighting, sometimes muted and soft as memory, concentrating attention upon one object or side of the room, can also catch characters in a stark, unforgiving embrace. At other times it spirals out like a pinwheel or speckles the audience playfully. One particularly devastating, representative sequence has a performer desperate for affirmation chasing to exhaustion an evasive spotlight that denies disclosure. Kudos to the technical trifecta of Helen Hebert, Theodor Spiridon, and Jack Foran.

Fundamentally, the piece feels more at one with performance art than theatre and perhaps, ultimately, would be more successful if fully embraced as such. As intriguingly hazy and obscure as many of the moments are, a viewer may long for a more certain movement towards a conclusive statement. Much of the time, the material floats loose and detached and after a while seems to infect the internal structure as a whole. It feels a bit baggy and airless. Mimmi Bauer, Pat Dynowska, and Michał Szpak commit fully to the singular worldview, throwing bare passion, heart and soul into the mix. Collectively, they have a firm, sure hand on their purpose. Frustrating and compelling in equal measure, a viewer departs pleasantly bemused.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Read more of Tom’s reviews here!

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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