The Blind Truth, written and directed by Annie Mwampulo, is part of the Lyric Evolution 2018, a four day festival celebrating the work of young London based artists. Set in a dystopian world, a group of survivors explore the inequality and injustice of society. The piece is immediately sizzling with life and feels Gothic and macabre, with a classical text interspersed with contemporary dialogue.
The Instrumentalists (Jodie Davey, Max Kinder, Kaz Costello and Elizabeth Hollingshead) work with a focused intensity creating visceral soundscapes, complete with eerie rattlesnakes and haunting singing. With Music Direction from Elizabeth Hollingshead, they produce brilliant original music and become a solid part of the story, often yielding their instruments like weapons. The beautiful stark physical imagery is greatly assisted by simple and clever lighting choices. The performers are consistently forming interesting shapes, using height and strong diagonals. The animalistic ensemble genuinely enjoy being on stage with one another and find a great playfulness in their scenes, with each character finding their own pace, from the fierce and punchy Deja Bowens to the mellow and sincere Shayde Sinclair.
Despite the intimacy of the Lyrics Studio, vocal projection at times is an issue. A particularly strong climax is the 'I see coal' section, Nasa Ohalete attacks the poetry of the scene with raw emotion, almost bursting at the seams. These actors don't do anything half measure. Each breath is expelled with vigour. They are far from tame. The piece is a patchwork of excellent ideas and is not whole, but it's certainly wholesome.
Written by @_FayeButler