A/V Room









Bitten by the Piranha Lounge, but not impressed

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 at that.

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.

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