Underbelly Big Belly
From 02 August 2012 to 27 August 2012
Review by Catherine Lamm
What the future holds, we don’t know. But, rest assured, we are not afraid of it.
Captain Ko (Valentina Ceschi) is on the planet of rice with cohort, Lieutenant Sparks (Thomas Eccleshare) searching out the “monster”. In baby blue spacesuits with white piping they are doomed to continue until their death.
This has all of the earmarks of the 1950s and 60s sci-fi with voiceovers and projections. We then find her in her declining years miming through the tedious chores of tea. Most interesting and unfulfilled is the section of this “triptych” which reflects on the real-life cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev, who was left by the Soviets floating in space, done like a reality show, just missing the mark of the terror seen again most recently by the crew of the Russian sub left underwater to die in 2000 in Kursk, Russia; a very interesting, though not connected event.
This “triptych” seems more like three separate one-acts that barely hang together over a vaguely-drawn theme. The segments are too long and overwritten, especially the middle section exploring the theme of an older woman succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease. Ceschi cannot convince us that she is old and the mime of making tea is too self-aware. The overly loud and unmodulated sound effects become more important than the scene.
Author Thomas Eccleshare and director Valentina Ceschi expect too much of the audience, leaving them struggling to understand and connect rather than engaging.