Laquearia (2 stars)

This article is from 2013


Paul Birchard, Christine Cornell, Philip Kingscott and Allan Scott-Douglas / credit: Lisa Fleming

Verbose performance that lacks theatricality

It's unlikely that there is a more cerebral event at this year's Fringe than Laquearia. Based on the ideas of Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, and Samuel Beckett, it follows a chess game based on one played within Beckett's novel Murphy. Here moves trigger predetermined sounds on a special board created by Lowell Cross.

Victoria Miguel uses this meeting of minds to critique Beckett's use of the philosopher Spinoza and Cage's interest in conceptual composition: her script compares the ideas of freedom that inspired both artists. While Cage and Beckett ponder moments from their respective works, a narrator draws comparisons between them.

While this analysis finds the connection, there is little acknowledgement of theatricality. The script is solid if verbose, but the recitation of academic theories is no substitute for drama. Indeed, the narrator's need for the book, and occasional fluffed lines, are disappointing.

Beneath their intelligence, Beckett and Cage were aware of the importance of the interaction between performer and audience. The script is encumbered by the author's weight of ideas and the minimal production - including the atmospheric but ambient score - does little to bring the profound ideas to life.

Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 9 Aug, 6pm, £10 (£8)


  • 2 stars

World premiere: a conversation between Samuel Beckett and John Cage over a game of chess, by Victoria Miguel. While drinking, smoking, and discussing friends and ideas – punctuated by the narrator’s clumsy interpretations – they play the game of chess described in Beckett’s novel Murphy, providing the structure for the…