Warwick Arts Centre, Studio
15th November 2011
Throughout Reckless Sleepers‘ performance piece “Schrodinger”, a revived piece that was originally made in 1998 (this fact making the company description of working with young theatre-makers slightly more understandable), you sit and watch a battered black box fill and empty, in chaotic disorder, with people, tables, chairs, apples and rain. Chalk is utilised throughout the piece to succeed at one of the production’s intentions, where “laws are made bent and broken” and there are several stunning sequences of movement that illustrate, skew and then fail to illustrate what can only be described as an overriding feeling of not quite being able to put your finger on it.
This frustration – no doubt the driving force behind the piece, and for me where the production’s beauty lay – was evidently not appreciated by all members of the audience. It seemed that the high ticket price and the distinct lack of either obvious entertainment, political questioning or human observation made for a highly unsatisfied viewer, although I have to say I was in the minority who sat and just absorbed and listened and watched. There were moments when you thought that you would finally understand the code, and that you were tantalisingly close to figuring out what the numbers meant (which, somewhat to my amusement, reminded me rather a lot of a scene from “Friends”) and how they affected the artists – it was extremely similar to Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet in this way – but that would immediately break down and leave you none the wiser.
I’m hesitant to say that this was a beautiful piece of theatre, but it was certainly a beautifully horrible work of art.
Reckless Sleepers are continuing to take this piece on tour, amongst other projects – see their website for details.