ED2022 3/5 Reviews ED2022 Theatre Reviews

The Chairs Revisited (Vagabond Productions)

By | Published on Thursday 11 August 2022

Ionesco’s ‘The Chairs’ is an iconic piece, a foundation stone of absurdist theatre. Not ‘absurd’ with its usual meaning (though the stage is filled with characters who are not there). Rather, the play offers an uncomfortably bleak view of how we find meaning in our ordinary lives when there is none. The meticulous acting held my attention throughout but I did not feel fully engaged with the characters; in this production the bathos outweighed the pathos, and neither are the play’s comic aspects emphasised. For me, the production lacked dramatic tension, making its ending (though containing a surprise) less shocking than it should be. Our lives may be banal, but their endings, especially when planned, are not.

Pleasance Dome, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Alan Cranston]