Company: Hidden Harlequin Theatre, Edmonton, AB
Venue: Venue #6 - Tom Hendry Warehouse
The poor acting and irritating script make for a sum that’s worse than its parts.
Remember the apocryphal tale of the production of Anne Frank so terrible a heckler yells out, 20 minutes into the production, "She's in the attic!"
Well, Guernica isn't quite that bad, but neither does it seem a fitting tribute to the artist Pablo Picasso nor to the residents of the Spanish town and market that was leveled by the Fascists in 1937.
The first four minutes in the dark seem like an episode of Mr. Bean during a power cut and when the lights come up we're in for a real jumble of movement, non sequiturs, and more offensively, a doe-eyed and gormless Picasso unworthy of the charismatic and volatile genius.
It's not that I didn't get it. It's just the poor acting and irritating script make for a sum that's worse than its parts. And some parts are okay. The physical recreation of the bombing is powerful but that makes what comes before it that much more obscene. These are real people, Picasso especially, and you can't just take the genius and the horror and appropriate it without express permission or some intent to aspire to something truly profound.
The painting says it all. Leave it alone.