[Theatre Review] The Serpent’s Book of Lamentation


A play write explores the multiplicity of self by writing of self by writing a play for all his various personalities to perform.

Split into Chapters, the first act sees his various personalities performing an audition of sorts from male and female characters which takes place inside his mind. Characters change and shift form to reveal different aspects of the personalty. Each character forcibly wanting their voice to be heard.

Chapter Two is then a mini film stretching for about 30 min or so that is entitled “Back stories” detailing what seems to be the process of hiring of the actors and rehearsals interspersed with casual conversation and snippets of every day life.  Filmed in Brisbane it acts as a way of breaking up the story line and giving an insight to the overall process of writing a play.

Chapter three commences with cocoons on the floor , bodies writing within. In the back of the room a pale woman walks in the lunar landscape reciting soliloquies as the cocoons awaken slowly. As the cocoons open they begin a dance in trance like state. In the back corner of the stage an androgynous figure sits applying make up at a mirror in a muted state adorned in lingerie

At times in the performance there are lines that shine and stand out, however for the most part it is difficult to follow and ascertain what is actually happening. The characters don’t tend to interact and its almost like several miniature performances at once. This makes for some confusing viewing. The costuming is quite effective and the changing between characters during the first act is seamless. For the most part though the entire play is just a jigsaw of lines that attempt to piece together a semblance of an idea or concept of a play and not an actual play. Perhaps this is the idea, that there is an idea giving birth to an idea, however it does not make for coherent viewing.

Some interesting lines such as ” her heroines are the glittering shards of all her old injuries” and ” heavy from the mould that clings to me” are rather poetic and dramatic, however this is just not enough to make the performance really gel; comes across as the rantings of a mad man.




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