ivana müller - while we were holding it together

"Ivana Müller's award-winning While We Were Holding It Together is a tribute to the power of the imagination. Philosophical, poetic and genuinely funny, the work has developed a cult audience throughout the world and is seen here in London for the first time.Out of pitch darkness five frozen silhouettes emerge. Who are they? What are they doing there? One by one, the actors share their thoughts on the situation to the audience. Through these reflections, the group transforms into a family having a picnic in the forest, through to inhabitants of the Alps, a revolutionary cell and a hotel room in Bangkok.As the text continually sheds a different light on the image, the audience is encouraged to keep embracing a different interpretation of the scene in front of them. The result is a fantastical philosophical trip, where dizzying ideas pass through emotional poignancy, with unforgettable results."
- from the sadlers wells website

this was...cute. it was different to what i thought it was going to be. the synopsis seemed to suggest that stories would be woven around each character in turn, and that these stories would shed new light on the other forms on stage.

it turned out that there was no real narrative, instead the actors took it in turn to recite one liners that began with the words "i imagine...". there were times when this really worked, and that was when the positions they were holding tied in with what they said. so when the man in the green shirt said that he imagined he was standing on the number 38 bus and the woman lying down said she imagined she'd been run over by the number 38 bus, it got a chuckle out of me. it's a shame this didn't happen more often.

at one point the lights in the room went out, but the dialogue continued. it was during this period that my favourite line of the play was spoken:

"i imagine that the longer you are in the darkness, the more you are able to see."

how true.

...but only if you keep your eyes open.

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