Yeast Nation: The Triumph of Life evaluate – a defeat for the theater | Theater

Yeast Nation: The Triumph of Life evaluate – a defeat for the theater |  Theater
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Yeast Nation: The Triumph of Life evaluate – a defeat for the theater |  Theater

This 2007 comedy musical options all-singing, all-dancing particles of yeast swimming on an ocean flooring greater than three billion years in the past. However there are few laughs in a present that belongs within the experimental petri dish of badly misjudged concepts from which it emerged.

It is creepy at first as eight figures wearing inexperienced physique stockings and nets of woman fruits emerge from beneath a white sheet. They could be yeasty however they resemble extras from Depraved; one even carries a broomstick, however as an ensemble additionally they appear to be historical prototypes of that present’s flying monkeys.

The primary quantity by Mark Hollmann and Greg Koti’s rating, Hear the Tune, is catchy and the voices and melodies are sturdy all through. The issue is the convoluted plot, the dearth of distinct and fascinating characters and any sense of coherent that means from the e book and rating, nonetheless exuberantly delivered – and there’s no lack of dedication from the performers.

Yeast Nation: The Triumph of Life evaluate – a defeat for the theater |  Theater
Self-consciously japey … Yeast Nation at Southwark Playhouse. Picture: PR

A Lear-like king of the yeast cells referred to as Jan the Elder (Christopher Howell) seems along with his youngsters, all the identical title (Shane Convery as Jan the Sensible, Stephen Lewis-Johnston as Jan the Second Eldest, Hannah Nuttall as Jan the Candy and so forth). Some plan to depose him. There’s point out of a traitor of their midst. If that is the primeval sea, it resembles a Jacobean courtroom of single-celled organisms that talk like waterborne Richard III.

There’s a subplot in regards to the lack of meals, with references to fats cells and “muck” being eaten. Little is defined or expanded upon. A repeated saying about “rising” yeast grows bearing. A menacing pink hand puppet seems in one other complicated flip.

Directed by Benji Sperring, the present hums with a self-consciously japey sense of being so unhealthy it is good till it is simply plain, outright unhealthy. The choreography is minimal, repetitive and suffocated on the crowded stage, with actors shifting their limbs in the identical few vibrating actions to remind us that they’re beneath the ocean.

Diego Pitarch’s scenography consists of dumpy grey beanbags, which stand for rocks, and a spherical wagon – it is by no means clear what a wagon is doing on the seabed. Nic Farman’s lighting is usually bilious inexperienced, as if a bucket of slime has been thrown over the manufacturing. If that is an try at absurdist theater, it comes off as a left-wing live performance gone awry.

Proceedings drops to an all-time low with the music Stasis is the Membrane (“that holds all the pieces collectively, via all weathers”). The lyrics proceed on this vein, sounding as in the event that they themselves have emerged from the mess of the diluvial swamp. Ardour enters the plot line with the music Love Equals Ache however it’s troublesome to make out who has fallen in love with whom and the way this pertains to the remainder of the story.

Additionally, do not thoughts the ache of affection. Theater may equal ache. No matter good religion there’s among the many viewers at the start is cured after two hours and 40 minutes on the press night time in an oppressively sizzling auditorium. All of it appears like extended self-indulgence. Finest to place again within the petri dish and go away for an eternity of fantastic mushroom isolation.

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