Theatre: On a road to nowhere

THE BRIDGE BOROUGH MARKET LONDON
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
IT HAD the kind of audience you never see on the fringe: a crowd of at least 300, most of them young, combat-trousered and hardy enough to hunker down on concrete. No small achievement for a barely publicised multi-media "blending of London geography and mythology" by a group of unknowns (Loci) that only ran for two days in a corner of Borough Market. To have almost the entire audience leave by the start of the second half must qualify The Bridge for some kind of record.

You could blame it on the technical glitches or the inevitable distractions of a working wholesale market: the repetitive bleeps of reversing lorries, the rumble of overhead trains, the hazard-beacons of whizzing fork-lift trucks, or even the smell of citrus emanating from fruit crates. But these were, if anything, the main inducements to stay the four-hour course; reminders of the ghost of a good idea lurking somewhere in Paul Hilder's project.

Despite the spectacularly opaque dialogue, it wasn't hard to get the gist of things. At the centre of the story lay a conflict between media baron Abraham and his son (a misanthropic stand-up comedian called Isaac, obsessed with his double, Sir Walter Raleigh's son). The aged tycoon wanted to get the whole of London surfing the Net in order to resurrect the spirit of his dead wife at the possible cost of human life and, er, a coral bed in the Thames. Enter a band of eco-warriors, under the command of a wheel-chairbound woman haunted by dreams of her ancestor, Raleigh's "illegitimate daughter Eve".

Add to that some techno and unsupple dance and you have what? The dramatic equivalent of a parody of something by Iain Sinclair in his sleep staged by a bunch of sixth-formers. A shame. A real shame.

Comments