Artaud: A Trilogy
Yesterday's shocking provocation becomes today's saucy romp
This article is from 2013.
Although The Lincoln Company may not have caught the spirit of Artaud - it's difficult to imagine his impact, since he was writing before the internet made nudity and blasphemy accessible - this student company certainly enjoy the signifiers. A naughty priest, a sexy nurse and a topless Greek warrior all join in the orgy of depraved sex and religious mockery, before a climax in which they merge together as a bloody female monster.
Apart from general mayhem, it's hard to discern any coherent intention behind the dated shock tactics. This confusion is part of the fun: clumsy attempts at audience interaction aside, all five performers throw themselves into the show with gusto. There's no attempt to discuss or question Artaud's interest in extremity: this is just re-enactment of tropes that were once shocking. Unfortunately, changing times make this show like a memory of an event that once had the power to provoke, but now falls close to exploiting the attractiveness of the cast for titillation.
Despite audience members walking out - par for the course for a work so determined on sex and violence - the young cast have a blast on stage. They don't communicate much of anything but hurl themselves around with an admirable abandon: while it may not always engage or educate, it does entertain through its single-minded mania.