Eugène Ionesco's The Bald Soprano
Theatro Technis - February 2014
Camden Fringe Festival, Etcetera Theatre - August 2015
Directed by Emily Louizou
Sound Design by James Melling
Make-up Design by Kira Amin
How bizarre, curious, strange. Then, madam, we live in the same room and we sleep in the same bed. It is perhaps there that we met!"
This production of Ionesco's classic play offers an exciting version of this tale which is simultaneously hilarious, tragic, and profound. What happens when two quintessential middle-class couples, their maid, and a fire chief determined to extinguish all fires in the city, try to reach some form of meaningful conversation during what seems like an ordinary dinner-party. However this dinner party is anything but ordinary!
The Father of the Theatre of The Absurd, Eugene Ionesco, satirizes in the most bizarre way how people fail to communicate and to connect in today's society. In our frantic efforts to make our own voices heard, we not only miss what other people around us say, but also what we really need to say ourselves.We promise you will laugh, but... we cannot promise that any resemblance to real persons or situations will be purely coincidental!
Read Emily's interview about the Bald Soprano here:
What The Critics Said:
★★★★ The Tab London
I cannot recommend this play enough. It is challenging, sophisticated, and disarmingly funny. None of the message is lost or muddled, and the production is nothing short of meticulous – the venue, Camden’s intimate Theatro Technis, is used excellently, as is music, costume, lighting and make-up.
The direction by Emily Louizou stripped the characters of the complexities of human nature leaving them with, both visually and characteristically, the essences of the person that we choose to extract and simplify to on a daily basis. When our public profile is constructed based on the photos we choose to edit and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it seems that Louizou has recognised the final and surprising extrapolation that Ionesco was recognising when the play was conceived during the late 1940s. The cast were uniformly skilled and adept in their approach. As a fan of the absurd I’d be a returning audience member and I found this a truly satisfying performance of a great piece of writing.
It is the absurd elements of this play on which director Emily Louizou has focussed in this inventive and fast-moving version of the work.The six actors are equal participants in the drama and there is not a weak link. Indeed, it is their total commitment to the collective nature of the way the play is structured that gives this production such force – the acting space at Etcetera Theatre is very small and the audience can see every facial expression of the actors listening to the actor who is speaking. The intensity of the group performance is spell-binding. A clever re-working of a play that could easily seem precious and absorbed with its own wordiness is a fine example of what a group of fearless young actors and a creative director can achieve.
This is a story all about wordplay, and director Emily Louizou correctly retains that emphasis.
This may be bizarre, curious, strange, but it's an intelligent hour-long staging with some nice finishing touches.