Review by Mike Nareoui
With Click, I was excited to watch a piece that would address contemporary issues using Piscator’s ‘total theatre’. Instead, we have a piece that must I commend for its bravery, but they poorly executed parts.
A carousel of moving furniture built the play’s scenography. The audience was asked to suspend its disbelief through dialogue and set pieces alone. It would have been more successful and entrancing if the actors visualised the world they are in, creating a living and breathing space. With transitions we had theatre blacks and silent blocking; however, more creative transitions would have enhanced audience immersion. Lighting did not add anything to the piece but was somewhat distracting. At times a mood would change and so would the colour tone, this detracted from moments of catharsis rather than adding to them; though the stage design itself was well thought out, with great ingenuity in transitioning from a talk show to a living room in seconds.
Now with the writing, I have to give credit to Théo Tomas-Brown for bringing a fresh perspective. This is especially the case with character Vicky (Ellie Melvin) who provides an interesting angle as to why a person would cheat on their spouse and in all is a great character. However, this is overshadowed by structural issues that at times meant scenes dragged longer than they should. The main characters were interestingly complex with monologues that had impressive writing, but minor characters were far too stereotyped. Théo delves into sexism, homophobia and mental health but doesn’t give the topics the complexity required. Minor characters at times say things that are controversial for the sake of being controversial, this is most present on ‘The Show’. The motif was as follows; a minor character would say a problematic thing with no justification, the audience expected to be shocked, main characters becomes upset over this and is helpless.
I also must praise Théo for his excellent filmmaking depicting the domestic life of the main characters, his editing is fresh and captivating, and I wish there were more of it. Georgia also does an excellent job in bringing creative spatial composition. A poor decision the directors made, however, was the audience interaction. In one dramatic sequence, we have an audience member questioned as to why they just ‘watched’ with the response being nervous laughter. Perhaps more thought out interactions were needed by both writer and directors and what rules they make and break by even having these interactions.
Finally, we have the acting. There was a great deal of excellent acting from the cast of Click. However, while I was impressed by the prepared intonations, they didn’t take enough risks for the most part. Shouting when angry or a voice wavering while sad, while effectively done are more troupes then complex behaviour The actors could have fixed these issue by exploring the character’s motivation more thoroughly though Ellie Melvin’s performance was incredible. She was able to portray her character brilliantly and showed great range throughout. Christian Fuchs also managed to bring moments of excellent vocal delivery and stage presence.
To conclude I hope to see more writing and more directing from Théo and Georgia. Both have shown that they have the aspiration to create interesting and difficult theatre. However, I wish they had more time to develop the production and further realise their intentions behind the piece.