The Bloody Poets’ Re:Naissance is the third instalment in an utterly bizarre showcase of alternative theatre, poetry, music, performance and witchcraft.
Cocooned within a church, the evening is a Halloween-esque experience, exacerbated by the gothically clad team members, quivering candles, haphazardly hung balloons, and thrumming music. Before the show you are invited to join an immersive theatre experience in groups of four. You don a blindfold and are led into a room. In this room resides a girl who recounts strange verse in increasingly emotional tones. Wind is whipped up, substances smeared, hair ruffled, faces touched. Your blindfold is removed to reveal a ghoulish looking individual, complete with white face paint and fanatical black eyes. It is intended to invoke the feeling of ‘re-birth,’ yet is actually more an unexpected lesson in self-soothing.
The hosts of the evening, Belen Berlin and Mad Pirvan open Re:Naissance, scripts firmly clasped in hand. The duo does their best at comic jest but it falls flat. They proclaim that art should be revered as religion, and then explain that the show will be an exercise into controlled chaos. It is here that the performance is poised on the precipice, filled with promise, yet equally able to descended into the dastardly.
Any niggling doubt is soothed into silence by the opening two acts, both of whom are phenomenal. The first is soulful singer and keyboardist, Alicia Macanás. Macanás sits beneath a stained glass window, cast in single slither of light. Within a moment her ethereal essence and haunting melody has the room hypnotised.
Equally hypnotic is the work of spoken word poet, Debra Watson who, in hushed silky tones summons the audience out of their seats and into a corner of the church. She then conceals herself behind a white screen where, illuminated by a golden glow she is made anonymous, turned into a sultry sphinx of the shadows. Her storytelling is sensational as every word sends shivers down the spine.
Sadly with Watson’s exit from the stage the show tumbled in turmoil. The catastrophic clown, screeching teenager, drunken sailor, lascivious poet, and not mesmerising mesmerisers made Re:Naissance a hard watch. Berlin and Pirvan make matters worse as they are so taken by their own enjoyment that they forget that it is a show.
Re:Naissance is a unique experience, which allows the unknown artist his or her moment stage, no matter how experimental the art form. For that The Bloody Poets should be applauded. However the show itself lacked any coherent connection and seemed to forgo real art for shock factor. There is room for The Bloody Poets to learn and grown and it will be interesting to see how they do so.
Re:Naissance played at The Old Church on the 4th of February. For more information about The Bloody Poets visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/thebloodypoets/about/