Devised by the company
dANTE oR dIE
Wanted is a new devised piece of theatre presented by dANTE oR dIE, an international collective of theatre practitioners dedicated to creating original, innovative new work. Wanted is a wonderfully surreal portrayal of an ultimately universal question about human desires: what do we need to be happy? What do we want to keep us happy? What are we scared of? This is the provocation that Wanted pushes the audience to reflect upon while examining their own vulnerabilities.
These questions are illustrated through the three strong cast; Clare Parke-Davies, who plays a young child-like woman living in apparent happiness, is obsessed with making sandwiches and forcing her brother, played by Stu Barter, to eat them, until a stranger (Terry O'Donovan ) arrives and seems to offer her a different sort of distraction while confronting her suppressed fears and desire for a different kind of happiness. love.
dANTE oR dIE are extremely sensitive to place and space in their devising process. Both in terms of traditional theatre space and more adventurous site-specific locations such as Iona, for example, an isolated Scottish island where the company lived and devised Wanted for ten days. The appropriately timeless setting on an equally obscure island near the sea becomes a metaphorical link between the characters' emotional landscape and the visual one on stage. The harmony between the two worlds were married together through the simple yet powerful scenography, designed by Nicola Remon and the equally complementary lighting design, by Mark Jones.
Wanted, directed by Daphna Attias, a recent graduate from The Central School of Speech and Drama, has also been performed at BAC Scratch Nights last October and will be going on tour to the Burton Taylor Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, this coming April. The best way to describe dANTE oR dIES productions is to say that as a collective they chase a visual theatre that embodies genuine creativity. They present a narrative with enough ambiguity to prevent predictability and they design theatre that is completely visceral.
Attias takes chance and plays with it, making Wanted both a physical and absurd play highlighting that we are all a little scared of growing up. The only constructive pieces of criticism I have is that it is far too short and, while the ideas are powerful, the characters need more time on stage for the audience to really get invested in them and follow their journey through the play. However it is still the best piece of theatre I have seen for a long time and strongly recommend the show, as well as dANTE oR dies as a progressive theatre collective.
This production will be at the Burton Taylor Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, Gloucester Street, Oxford, OX1 2BN from Tues 19th to Sat 23rd April. Box Office: 01865 305350
Their next production will be "Never smile at a crocodile": Docklands 26-27 April. Box office 020 7515 7799
Reviewer: Lennie Varvarides