Puzzle the Puzzle

Hope Chiang
Made in Macoa
C nova

When a young poet has difficulty finishing his work, his poem, his soul takes over and takes him on a journey outside of the confines of his papers, his books and this room. As he gives himself over, we see his world, our world in miniature, as if it provides the bigger picture. As he searches for art, we do.

Books and balls of rejected paper are everywhere, as are small, lighted boxes that represent the buildings outside. He muses at the actual window in the room which provides only a white brick wall as its horizon.

The woman who actualizes his soul, or his muse or art, leads him around the room, which is his world, until he finds the solution to his dilemma: what is blocking his writing.

The set is detailed enough and the action keeps us interested. But the script and therefore the performance is very unclear. We struggle to understand the relevance of the action on stage. It is very engaging but gives us no direction or instruction.

I have as a reference the idea that where Westerners assimilate birdsong in the part of the brain that deals with noise, the Asian mind registers it as music. This may explain why this doesn’t seem to work here.

With two other very successful pieces from Made in Macao (Picnic in the Cemetery and Playing Landscape), Puzzle the Puzzle was too much of a puzzle.

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm

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