Entitled, 3 stars
Summerhall (Venue 26)
Manchester's Quarantine theatre company specialises in putting the lives of real people on stage. The real people in Entitled are those we don't normally see when we go to the theatre. They are the production managers and lighting technicians who build the sets, rig the lights and do the sound checks.
This is the activity we see them engaged in, erecting and then deconstructing a set for an unknown show, in a piece that often feels like a durational art installation as much as a piece of theatre. Joined by the dancers from this theoretical show, they take turns to break off and share their thoughts about life and work. As often as not, however, they are just getting on with their jobs, seemingly in a world of their own.
There's a strange, understated beauty in all this and there are times when their work routine seems to serve as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of their lives. There are times too when it is rather tedious (which may be the point). It doesn't help that the setting suggests Entitled is going to be another piece of navel-gazing theatre about theatre. Even if that is not the intention, the performers' insights and dilemmas are not sufficiently acute to make an intriguing show compelling.
Until 26 August
© Mark Fisher 2011
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