By The Way
On a road to nowhere, for no reason
This article is from 2008.
There’s obviously a lot of talent behind this little two-hander, which follows a pair of friends on a road trip through a dystopian France, where an unnamed plague is killing off everyone’s mothers. The actors are likable and clearly talented, and for the most part the direction’s great too, although the decision to have the actors create the characters they meet along the road in a variety of comedy regional accents – the kind that stopped being funny way before Eurotrash went off the air – is increasingly irritating. And they’re a young emergent company, and we ought to support them . . .
Oh, but it’s the script, though. There’s just no ignoring it. Due either to Noëlle Renaude’s writing, poor translation from the original French or a nippity combination of both, the actors are saddled with strange, clunky, pseudo-intellectual lines that stick in their throats whenever they attempt lyricism or strive for meaning. The plot appears to have gone missing in action too. The characters meander in and out of their car, and have encounters with an apparently inexorable succession of comedy characters for what feels like much longer than the apparent running time, before piffling out into nothingness, leaving you wondering, bleakly, what the point was.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 19), 2.05pm. £9–£10 (£7.50).