The Sum of it All (3 stars)

Ghostly tale of grief

comments (2)

This article is from 2010.

The Sum of it All

In a creepy old cemetery, a figure rises from his grave and speaks of the process of death in macabre tones. He then goes on to describe the life that preceded his demise. He proves to be a lonely young man who has ended his life in delusion after an affair ends his relationship with his one true love.

Anomic’s multimedia production boasts some slick cartoonish animations, emanating from a bank of television screens, which takes us from graveyard to dark, foreboding streets, then to an apartment filled with sad mementos. The two performers are physically very impressive in matching the brooding action of the piece’s bleak metaphysical story. But the text in voiceover doesn’t quite match the quality of the rest of the piece, with the odd snatch of Shakespeare mixing in with a slightly banal language. That said, in exploring the bleak metaphysics of modern alienation, this is a story that speaks movingly of the wasted life at the centre, and there are some impressive passages of movement along the way.

Zoo Roxy, 662 6892, until 30 Aug, 8.35pm, £10 (£7).

This article is from 2010.

The Sum of It All...

  • 3 stars

Award-winning director Dan Shorten, co-founder of Precarious, introduces his new company Anomic. This heartfelt story laments the central character's journey from banality through love to despair. At once witty and melancholic the story explores the tragic decisions, unsettling circumstances and extreme emotions which…

The Sum Of It All…

  • 3 stars

This witty and melancholic multimedia extravaganza follows a man from banality through love to the profound disturbing decision of his life. The show follows Stanley Ayers as he recalls his past and relives moments from his unfulfilling career. This humdrum existence is transformed when he meets Nadia, a young woman who…

Comments

1. Sorcha Fierce13 Aug 2010, 1:31pm1 star The Sum of it All Report

You're kidding, right? This was quite possibly the worst show I have ever, ever seen. Not a single redeeming feature about it: the tacky visuals and soundtrack were like something off Knightmare, or a knock-off 90s computer game, the story was etched out of an adolescent's idea of what 'falling in love' or 'working in an office' looks like, although the acting was so inert and mumbled that very little of that transmitted, it plagiarised large patches from David Eagleman's Sum (not credited on the programme - get on it, Canongate) and various pop songs (I spotted lines from Belle & Sebastian and Damien Rice; there were probably others in there too), the physical theatre was clumsy, out of sync with the clever-clever visuals and about as passionate as a butcher slapping cuts onto a chopping board, they ACTUALLY used an angel and a devil on his shoulder to get across moral conflict, and the whole, interminable final act was insulting to people who have genuinely suffered depression.

When the lead 'character' finally got around to killing himself, I was three seconds off shouting 'just bloody jump, or I'll do it for you!'. What a waste of money and time. Shame on Steve Cramer for dressing it up as something acceptable - other people might actually go on the strength of this.

2. very impressed!7 Oct 2010, 2:42pm4 stars The Sum of it All Report

Right, wouldnt normally submit reviews.. which are after all peoples personal opinions and i certainly would not like for it to influence anyones decision on what may or not be worthwhile watching.. which unfortunately is more than i can say for the review above...

Lets be clear on this.. i am no expert in theatre/dance etc and have never been to the Edinburgh Fringe.. i saw the show in question last night in Norwich..

I found this performance amazing.. based on a cast of 2 people the show skips between animation of the lead character Stanley shown on large widescreens and projectos and the actors on stage.. i thought it told a simple story of a depressed guy with confidence issues, problems at work and with partner etc that many people can relate to but not in an entirely solemn way as i found myself laughing and smiling at many points throughout the performance.. it was an entirely surreal performance which i was not expecting with good lighting and animation effects and also a decent soundtrack.. they did a good job of using perspective to add to the performance.. i also liked the movements of the characters on stage which were unusually funny to say the least

Well done Dan and Sasha.. not at all a waste of time or money

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