By Jennifer Hocking
Hybrid Soul, working in conjunction with Deftone Digital Productions, succeeded in using the small, and dare I say it, intimate performance space to retell the Greek myth of Pandora in a suitably emotive first night.
The first play to employ the gallery space at the WA State Theatre made use of the eerie car lights and echoing voices passing outside to augment the minimalist scenery and costumes. The physical theatre involved in the dance-like holds and implied lovemaking, when partnered with the proximity to the stage, really made an impact on the audience.
Despite overuse of the phrases: ‘What do you want?!’’ and ‘I want you!’, occasional humorous lines thrown in amongst the angsty dialogue/monologue/soliloquy formula, drew laughter from the inevitable mish-mash of no more than twenty parents, friends, and eccentrics which made up the typically ‘Fringe’ audience.
Although the dialogue was not complex, the clever use of projected images (such as a broken photo of a couple in an idyllic beach location) meant ‘Pandora, with Love?’ really did explore the nature of humanity, curiosity and the idea that our search for unobtainable perfection often ends in disaster.
The stars of the show; Leah Bennett, Michael Nield and Laura Scott (one of whom was in a box for the entire performance), all worked hard to maintain the intensity of the atmosphere and executed their lines faultlessly (at least as far as the audience was aware).
It can be difficult to pull an ancient myth into the present day without making the ‘old versus new’ juxtaposition the main aspect, but ‘Pandora, with Love?’ managed a good 50 minutes without too many jarring moments. Well-done Hybrid Soul, definitely one to watch for the future!
Pandora, with Love? runs 5th – 7th Feb, 8.30pm Stow Studio Theatre, Hale School, Wembley Downs.