BroadwayBaby.com 8-2012

 

Waiting at the Station
Joanna Brown

 

Expressed in a combination of physical theatre, experimental sound and video, the copy print says e-Station is an exploration of the ‘complex modern relationship between the human body and electronic products.’ This was evident from the start, with neat rows of computer keyboards adorning the stage and a white clinical fridge at the back piled with boxes. But the performance was about more than just electronic products. Themes of power games, domination and destruction - giving the show a post-apocalyptic feel - featured heavily, and it was obvious that some serious thought had gone into the show.

Throughout the show, all three performers explored the objects and each other through stylised and (mainly) slow movement to a live soundtrack of electronic music and synthesised guitar. The performers’ movements and interactions were well-rehearsed yet most interesting to me was one performer who always seemed to be slightly removed from the others, and by his size (he was over six and a half feet tall) seemed slightly out of the place; I wanted to know more about his story. Excellent lighting also provided atmosphere for the performance using numerous colours and looks to provoke a dense exploratory feel.

While the show featured a lot of physical action its dramatic action was limited and so the translation of the material, interesting in and of itself, into a theatrical event failed to materialise. I couldn’t connect to this show, which struggled with tone and played on a monotonous level throughout. However, a few moments in the piece stood out. One was a point at which the performers began to skip a wire that had been discarded on the stage. Joyous and no longer insular, the performers were smiling and laughing, and gave the audience a real sense of personality. I only wish there could have been more moments like this in the largely one-note, if well executed, production.