Review by David Munro
THE Lyric Studio has been converted into the simulacrum
of a sleazy nightclub for the presentation of the Dende Collective's
presentation of Pirahna Lounge.
The Dende Collective, so the programme informs us, consists
of a growing, multi-ethnic collective of artists, directors, writers,
translators etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
What you see at the Lyric Studio is a show based on the work
of one Murilo Rubiao, a Brazilian writer who has one book translated
into English, now out of print, and which, I must confess, has
not been read by me.
However, the helpful programme informs us that Senor Rubiao wrote
and re-wrote the same short stories during his lifetime, so perhaps
I have not missed a great deal.
Certainly, if last night's showing was anything to go by, his
work was somewhat abstract and obscure, and obviously an aquired
taste. One, I regret, I did not achieve during the long 90 minutes
I spent at the Piranha Lounge.
Suffice it to say that there was a lot of rushing around the
auditorium by the cast in an assortment of costumes, some music
and a lot of off-stage commentary by a dis-embodied voice.
A Japanese lady sang a plaintiff song, rather charmingly, I think
in Japanese, as I could not catch the words, in fact, hearing
the spoken word was one of the problems I encountered, as the
evening wore interminably on.
This, I suppose, must be put down to the multi-ethnic nature
of the Collective; the words 'Tower' and 'Babel' did come to mind
from time to time, I must admit.
It would not be fair of me to comment too harshly on an evening
which was clearly outside my comprehension, although I did find
myself wondering if I was attending a multi-lingual self-expression
class, which had got out of hand, or an unsuccessful attempt to
emulate the zany comedy of the Marx Brothers and the Crazy Gang.
I am sure there are a lot of people who will find the evening
imaginative and artistic, but not me. For my part, I would only
say that a trip to the Piranha Lounge is a dangerous thing
for anyone seeking common or garden entertainment ,and leave it
Pirahna Lounge, by Mark O'Thomas; Director & designer,
Andre Pink; Lighting, Christopher Pye. CAST: Dende Collective.
Producer: Dende Collective
Lyric Studio, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, King Street, London,
W6 OOL. Mon, March 9 - Sat, March 27, 2004 @ 8pm. Box Office -
08700 500 511.