Solfatara

Atresbandes

Summerhall

From 02 August 2013 to 25 August 2013

Rating: ***

Review by Seth Ewin

At first glance you might think that a man in scary balaclava talking about humans exploding like volcanoes is going to be the prologue to some catastrophic act of terrorism. This figure however proves to be the jovial narrator played by Albert Pérez of a piece that was dark, but only in a intimate small scale way not in a global terrorist way.

Tensions simmer between Miquel and Mónica (Mónica Almirall, Miquel Segovia) over the dining room table and the atmosphere is fired up by the masked narrator with his fascination for all things volcanic. It certainly captures the volatile feel of a relationship with problems struggling to come to the surface. Dramatically though it could push the action a bit further and build up to more of a climax.

There are a few occasions when perhaps the actors could be even more inflamed, like for instance the sexual intercourse near the end, to fully live up to its volcanic title.

That being said, the performances are very strong from all three actors with plenty of passion in the relationship struggle and the masked figure's fun role as Miguel's inner voice. Indeed there is a nice sense of humour to the piece, not just through the clown-like role of balaclavered buffoon, but also through the play's invisible fourth character: the jokey English sur-titles. These provide another layer to the piece and add to, rather than distract from, the action.

The play's time slot, with the fireworks happening right at the end, and the warm and engaging cast give this slightly dormant volcano the potential to erupt into something quite explosive.