- Gareth K Vile
- 29 August 2018
This article is from 2018.
A return to the absurdist style
Fear No Colours are historicist by inclination: To Have Done with the Judgement of God is a riff on Artaud, while Bucket Men evokes the sinister menace of the later absurdists: like a variation on Pinter's more brutal scripts, it features two men tasked with torture, following a routine that gradually breaks apart on its own incoherence.
Much is made of the mystery that surrounds the men: their daily ritual is founded not on their lives but a predetermined script. Families are discussed but as apparent social inventions, the eating of sandwiches seems connected to their work, even the failure of a kettle to work appears to be part of the employment conditions. Yet none of these elements are clarified, and the sign-posted finale is undermined by a long and obvious interlude when a man clad in a gas mask moves around the body of their victim, in their absence.
Performed with a meticulous attention to detail, the cast develop the sense of rising horror and lend the script a focus that makes its lack of depth more apparent. The obvious influences of Pinter and Beckett prevent the action from being a surprising or invigorating trip into terror, but the discomfort of the measured ascent to its bleak conclusion is a promising exercise in working with familiar motifs.