Caesarian Section – Essays on Suicide
Polish company grapples with deeply human emotion elegantly and sensitively
This article is from 2012.
With a title like Caesarian Section – Essays on Suicide, this production by Wroclaw-based company was never going to be a light undertaking. Yet despite it’s heavy subject matter – it is described as being about ‘suicidal compulsion and the involuntary force that brings us back from the brink’ – this piece of physical theatre from Poland is filled with so many moments of beauty that watching it is an unexpectedly enthralling, if haunting, experience.
Caesarian Section immerses itself in the emotions of depression and desperation, the sensation of teetering on the edge, out of control or just completely overwhelmed. A performer teeters on a chair clawing at a solitary spotlight, another is caught in an uncontrolled spiral, grabbed and spun faster by her fellow actors and, in perhaps the most memorable moment of all, a women collapses to the floor in anguish after her bag of oranges breaks and the contents fall around her.
Weaving its way through the performance is the melancholic (if over familiar) music of Érik Satie. And in a striking addition, a trough of broken glass runs through the centre of the stage adding a suitably unsettling dimension to the performance, especially as the glass becomes strewn across the floor and beneath the performers’ bare feet.
With so many visual treats you could be mistaken for thinking Caesarian Section tackles its subject matter on a purely aesthetic level but there’s a strong sense of compassion here. This is a performance attempting to grapple with a difficult and complex but deeply human emotion and doing so in an elegant and sensitive way.
Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 20 Aug (not 14), 7pm, £11 (£9).