Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Long Drive to Nowhere; Trapped in Absurdity: Dila (Dolya Gavanski) and Emanou (David Ricardo-Pearce) Struggle in a World Devoid of Meaning

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Long Drive to Nowhere; Trapped in Absurdity: Dila (Dolya Gavanski) and Emanou (David Ricardo-Pearce) Struggle in a World Devoid of Meaning

Article excerpt

Byline: NICHOLAS DE JONGH

The Car Cemetery Gate, W11 UNHAPPY the play whose spectacular stagingmakes far more of an impact than the performance of its text. So it sadlyproves with Natalie Abrahami's rather incoherent but vivacious production ofFernando Arrabal's The Car Cemetery: Lorna Ritchie's eye-holding set isdominated by the dilapidated remnants of a full-size, wheel-deprived car thatdominates the traverse stage-area.

The jalopy belches smoke and serves as a sort of service-area for an ungrandhotel, run by Alexi Kaye Campbell's Milos. This bustling, hustling frock-coatedretainer serves not much more than chewing gum for breakfast, while DolyaGavanski's Dila sits in the passenger seat and satisfies gentlemen's more basichunger though not in the car.

The Car Cemetery, a weird, selfconscious piece of Absurd Theatre, written by amore than half-forgotten practitioner of the genre, abounds with eccentricitiesof theme, language and situation. Sadomasochist relations, almost the favouritemode of communication in Arrabal, bloom and flourish in black leather. Theaction darts around in the aisles, in the car and up above the seating areas.

The governing intention is to startle, though not to any strong purpose,despite the boldness of the idea. …

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