One of the most brilliant light comedies I have attended so far in Exeter, Party brings onstage important topics such as racism, fair trade fruit, religion and Americanism, as they are perceived by young people. In a style very similar to Pirandello’s plays, every joke leaves the audience with a bitter taste, showing how difficult it is for adults to find a personal and true opinion of the world around us. The scene opens on a garden shed, where Jared, Phoebe, Jones, Mel and Duncan are voting in favour of China as a concept.
Party is their new unnamed and anti-capitalist political party, and writing its manifesto is the daily schedule for the members. The discussion starts with Islam and ends up on topics such as sex trafficking in Armenia, premature baldness, unfair trade coffee and the election of a leader. Although Duncan appears to be the character who mostly struggles during the discussion, his ignorance leads him to have control over the reigns of the plot.
Every character lives in a different dimension, and the long silences enhance the verisimilitude of the script to a real conversation. The Hall itself is a character of the play. It’s a space in between spaces, full of old maps of England, forgotten owls and leather armchairs, where everything seems to be possible. Between these four red brick walls you can expect to find Allen Ginsberg reading his poems, or Sherlock Holmes smoking his pipe in a corner.
When the lights come back on, everybody is whistling and clapping their hands, standing up for the great performance of the six members of EUTCo. Their acting was so natural and their expressions so true to life, that I felt as if I was part of the action (or the non-action) of the play.
Follow Exeposé Arts on twitter and like us on Facebook here.