Title and Deed by Will Eno
Brilliantly unsettling piece of Edinburgh Fringe theatre questioning the essence of humanity
This article is from 2014.
In 2005 the New York Times described American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner Will Eno as a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation. Almost a decade on, it seems Eno lives up to that weighted description with his monologue Title and Deed, a one-man show directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett questioning the essence of humanity through startlingly mundane and disjointed speech.
Irish actor and Beckett connoisseur Conor Lovett appears on stage as a lone figure from a foreign land. Details do not get more precise; no name is offered, no reason or purpose to his address disclosed. Self-flagellation and awkwardness characterise his confused and painfully funny musings about living amongst ‘us’ in this strange land ‘here’.
Lovett’s performance is both mesmerising and terrifying, his character so intensely human it becomes uncomfortable to watch him realise that time, place and happiness are not constant in life. Uneasy empathy for his lonely and isolated state of mind resonates throughout the audience.
No answer or respite is offered to the uncomfortable questions about the futility of human existence this play raises and probes. The result is a brilliantly unsettling piece of theatre.
Assembly Hall, 6512120, until 25 Aug, 6.05pm, £13.