revew: Stitch Theatre – Rise to Vertex (Transform 16)
Rise to Vertex/
by Stitch Theatre/
Live Art Bistro/
The first paragraph explaining as objectively as musterable the base premise/point/object of the piece/play/performance being reviewed (this is an important part of every review). Stitch Theatre are Martyna Kozanecka and James Rowling, awarded the Lift Off & Transform award in 2015. They’re a Very New company, presenting their debut work, Rise to Vertex, as part of the opening of Transform 16 Festival (contextualise how/where/whom this show has been made). Rise to Vertex is Stitch Theatre’s staging of a heroic narrative, its trials, its sacrifice, its final ecstatic climax (elliptic (this is the first paragraph after all) synopsis).
Of course it’s easy to make these claims – meaning’s all just a matter of perspective, a mass-hysteria – epic is a matter of consensus. And if theatre’s ever worth its salt then it’s better off being nearer to mass-hysteria than to language. Language is a stale old thing, and at its root, Rise to Vertex ends up being a joke on the vanity of language in conveying meaning. Kozanecka and Rowling announce the telling of their ‘back story’ – before pulling up their shirts to show us their backs and shimmying around to some calypso music. The two talk of surmounting obstacles as Kozanecka draws a line in salt and attempts to blow her way through it; there’s a lot of balancing on chairs and protecting eggs from destruction (the second paragraph which delivers (?) what the first failed to).
(Now we have opinion no longer (lol) pretending to be objective description) the combination of these images makes the show a series of decidedly silly scenes, narrated by the company’s sterile deconstruction of what constitutes a ‘story’. We are left somewhere between ‘every story ever told’ and no story whatsoever. There’s a playfulness in the ideas of deconstruction behind this show that comes only half across in the performance – the actions of the two performers feel too clinical and rehearsed to be anarchic, and too daft to be wholly reverent of the idea of Epic Narrative as Fixed-Storytelling-Mode.
(In which the critics tells us (or implies) wat They Rekon Theyd Do (as if theyre any sort of creative lol) If They Wer Makin This Show) I’m uncertain what the attitude of this show towards its subject matter is. I don’t know if I’m watching a subtle aggressive mockery or a devoted abstraction. I know what I think it’s trying to do, but my opinion isn’t going to unmuddy any waters anyhow. What it amounts to tho is me wanting more – more daft scenes – more speed – too much for me to keep an eye on or care about wanting to. Rise to Vertex made me hungry in a teasing kind of way, like a weird canape that tastes kind of familiar and you’re not sure if you want another or not but you maybe want to get something more familiar in your mouth.
(the final summary that makes it entirely clear what the rest of the revew was for and whether you should go see the show (whether it’s for you) usually containing the most quotable sentence for posters/tweets/scrapbooking and all-in-all sneaking the bleeding function of the review under your nose so you can pretend you didnt notice it was all part of a commercial venture and your still resisting capitalism for today) no i did enjoy Rise to Vertex for its silliness and that it was realy kinda fun [quotable sentence] tho i think i couldve enjoyed it more
imean words are all just a matter of perspective i spose