Reviews: Trashman’s Dilemma
The situation might be a cliché, conceived by someone who is a fan of computer games, interplanetary war films, Star Wars, Stargate, Japanese Mangas and whatever else but this production has class! The dialogue is well written and is very well acted.
You see that these young people on stage control every movement and have a theatre background. They were a pleasure to watch in spite of the unpleasant situation. First there is the excellent soundscape which is the crux of the question. Explosions, machines, things crashing and blowing up all around. Something terrible is happening out there, while inside here…. an encounter takes place between three characters: The Disposable one whose job is to clean up.
The Shock trooper or Soldier figure who protects and defends. Both in battle dress covered with scars and dirt, gas masks and partially shaved heads . Then there is Freak! And Freak is what makes it interesting because in the middle of this apocalyptic scenario where war is raging and the the earth is dying, there is this “pale freak” creature” covered in silver dust, looking like a tattered clown, the symbol of a dying theatre . His presence turns all this into a performance and removes us from all forms of boring realism. He snaps his fingers and creates his own private hell for us to watch, a computer war game come to life!! run by someone inside the game..that is the difference... In the midst of this, language becomes a subject of their exchange. In their sophisticated world of the past that is now coming to an end, people were used to mental telepathy and speech was no longer necessary.
Now that everything has been destroyed, they have to relearn how to talk. This is Beckett’s Endgame scenario, no longer chess but a computerized event pushed to its limts as the figures in the trash can emerge into a world that is even worse than that big previous world war. In that one, language became a source of anguish. I wonder if the writer really realizes that he has touched on something fundamental here?
At the same time it all shifts us into that mode of torture and lost friends where human emotions have not yet disappeared, when a loved one (a great lump of dirty, bloody blankets) is carried in by Soldier and then it disappears. Soldier needs to recover those remains to retain his sense of humanity, even if this is just theatre. The narrative was a series of bits and pieces that were not always too clear but what did work best was the dynamics among these three, the performances that are very good, the tense, angry, highly theatrical dialogue and the way all this comes together to create a bristling moment as the survival impulse takes over in a possible future where humans are soon to become extinct.
I really became absorbed in all this.