Stereo held me in utter captivity throughout, and I ran the gamut of enjoyment and repulsion as though my mind was going through a blender. One moment I was enjoying it, understanding it and, on some levels, relating to it, but the next, I was left staring at the stage with a serious lack of comprehension.
The piece is about the lengths one will go to for satisfaction – drinking, sex, masturbation and the kinks one experiences in between – and why these experiences may leave some satisfied, some unsatisfied, full or hollow. One hundred layers lie within the piece, and all of them are appropriate to the subject matter, I simply think that the direction dissolved partway through. One sees the transition between the wonderland-esque young rabbit in the nightdress, exploring oneself and understanding what lies out there. One also understands how this could melt into the dissatisfaction found in alcohol, but there is no transition between this and the closing, sexual fascination with latex rubber gloves.
To me it is an odd digression which does not sit well with the decline of the personality within the piece, for the personality deviates and divides unrecognisably and irreconcilably between the physical and the psychological. I would have seen and understood it more clearly, instead of being blindsided by not only the change in character’s feeling but also the change in actor’s gender, if the distinctions were made clearer.
In terms of this, the performer is an absolute force, inhabiting both the male and female persona with elegant ease and fascinating ability, tearing the elements of her physicality asunder in order to produce an unbelievably accurate, somewhat unnerving recreation of each personality. These transformations occur onstage, and the audience can only watch in both amazement and horror as the search for satisfaction deepens and darkens through the psychological and the sexual.
The BE Festival ran in Birmingham from the 2-6 July 2013. It will return next year. For further information, please visit the BE Festival website.