The Accident Did Not Take Place (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

The Accident Did Not Take Place

YESYESNONO's slippery and sophisticated new show avoids easy interpretations

Total Theatre Award winner YESYESNONO have proven themselves to be masters of theatrical intimacy and The Accident Did Not Take Place feels like a natural development and a departure from their previous work. In attempting to reconstruct the final moments of a plane crash with the help of a guest performer the company creates a hyperreal exploration of liveness and trying to create something truthful under imaginary circumstances.

The company's dramaturgy remains characteristically slippery, with each repetition and reconstruction of the accident taking on a slightly different angle as the cast rotates roles around the guest performer in a style that feels reminiscent of 'in-yer-face' playwright Martin Crimp. The result is maddening and mind-boggling as after each replication of the accident it's never quite enough, the truth (whatever that means) remains eternally elusive.

Just at the point where the repetitions become tiresome rather than enlightening the production shifts from a study in reconstruction and realness to an apparent metacritique of YESYESNONO's theatrical practice. After a line of questioning one of the performers attempts to mimic the guest performer from the outside in. It's a dizzying, spiralling simulacrum of reality that feels at once illuminating and alienating. More sophisticated than 5 Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist and [insert slogan here], and The Accident Did Not Take Place feels like a transition period in YESYESNONO's practice, moving towards something groundbreaking but not quite there yet.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug, 1pm, £10–£13 (£8.50–£12).

The Accident Did Not Take Place

  • 3 stars

YESYESNONO's new theatre play tells a story of a crashing flight that you watch happening on your laptop.