Immolation. William Beddoes and Caitlin Corbett. Photo, Ottawa Fringe
A deeply passionate, romantic music announces a dramatic encounter between two lovers, that quickly opens the door to the world of Immortals, or vampires or any one of those indestructible mythological creatures who have been together for 5 000 years, who have been constantly reborn in a new shape, have adapted to new life and are still going strong. Their special extra-human status is played out as a long, sinister love story lived as a series of deadly, cruel rituals that cross through the most violent periods of history and give energy to their existence. In this enclosed room, humankinds most deadly moments are remembered as experiences of pure evil, only possible because these individuals are shaped by extraordinary circumstances that nothing can change. Or can it! Or more to the point, why should it? They are accountable to no one; they have no remorse, no guilt. But, is it really loves that binds them, or is it the need for ongoing vengeance, for the heightened pleasure of the sadomasochistic hunt.? The play sets up an interesting state of existence that is extra-human, where the choice of “evil “deeds becomes extremely attractive and opens up a new consciousness.
There is much talk, screaming, grabbing, snarling and exasperation; there is stabbing, hitting, throwing about as well as kissing, blood spattering, hugging and seducing. Passion is still passion whether it is hate, rage, jealousy or fiery love. In this world of completely free choice and confused identities. they may all express themselves as they wish, no matter what the consequences. The result is not chaos but something much worse.
A strangely metaphysical play that delves into the a strange complicity.
The acting is very good. Caitlin Corbett is the snarlingly seductive seeker of painful pleasures while William Beddoe shows pangs of remorse. This two hander directed by Nicolas Alain keeps us watching even if we are not always sure where situation is going. The set is adequate, the sound and music are good , the makeup is red and oozy but the shock effect eventually wears off and the last bit of it leaves us almost indifferent. Something happens with the writing that did not hold our attention for one whole hour. Still, not for the faint of stomach!
Plays at the Arts Court theatre
Immolation by Caitlin Corbett
Directed by Nicolas Alain
Here be Dragons productions