Artaud: A Trilogy (2 stars)

This article is from 2013

Artaud: A Trilogy

Photo: Nick Rutter

Yesterday's shocking provocation becomes today's saucy romp

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.

Artaud: a Trilogy

  • 2 stars

The Lincoln Company. Spurt of Blood, The Cenci and The Seashell and the Clergyman are drawn together to create an experimental event that layers French surrealism, physical theatre and contemporary farce, creating its very own Theatre of Cruelty. It explores the anguish sheathed within Artaud's mind, identifying fragments…