Options of Life (2 stars)

This article is from 2007.

Language an insurmountable barrier to these Polish parables

This unusual piece from Polish company, Impossible Theatre Union, consists of five parables from the Old Testament, interpreted by the famous Polish philosopher, Professor Leszek Kolakowski, best known for his analysis of Marxist thought. In it the two actors alternate speeches, performing these highly moral pieces using various props and sculptures, including bricks, sand and clay figurines, intercut with piano sequences performed live. They generate some striking images, especially as the disturbed sand creates a vague mist around the performer.

Unfortunately, this reviewer failed to understand the meaning behind these visions as it was spoken entirely in Polish. Although you are provided with written translations, these are impossible to follow whilst the show is in progress. With Edinburgh’s fast growing Polish community it is important our theatre culture reflects that. However, for those of us who do not understand the language, it proves a strong barrier in this production which primarily relies upon storytelling through words.

C, Chamber Street, 0845 260 1234, until 17 Aug (not 10, 12, 14, 16), 11.10am, £6.50–£8.50 (£5.50–£7.50).

Options of Life

  • 2 stars

Unusual piece consisting of five parables from the Old Testament. Props and sculptures contribute to some striking images, but the play suffers from a language barrier as it is performed Polish with written translations that are impossible to follow while it is in progress. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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