'Something About You (makes me want to hurt you)' review or 'Sisters in suitcases, mums as dads and a husband who lives in a car.'
‘Something About You (makes me want to hurt you)’, Debbie Kent
Caroline Gardens Chapel, Friday 7th October 2011
Written for Time Out
Beneath a craggy altar that sags with sea-like adornments, a girl named Egg clambers into a dress splashed in blue. Beside her stands her mother, Pony, a man dressed in drag with a warped resemblance to Princess Di. As the two cite overlapping monologues, a lady covered in plastic screams wretchedly as she gives birth to some unseen monstrosity. This is Dirty Market’s take on ‘Electra’, although the flood of ideas has all but drowned out the original story.
Four years ago, Dirty Market won a Time Out Fringe Show of the Year and they are clearly a serious-minded and seriously inventive company. But the performances aren’t strong enough and the atmosphere not persuasive enough to pull together this confusingly chaotic show. Even the extraordinary set – an abandoned chapel that groans with faded majesty – isn’t enough to galvanise matters.
A narrator cum therapist is presumably present to impose some order but her shrill questions and obscure introductions only obfuscate things further. Other supposedly illuminating touches prove equally disruptive. The ghost of Electra’s sister prompts much strange swaying but makes little sense and two beige figures, despite sliding around sexily and performing feral dances, feel superfluous.
The scenes are dizzyingly fractured and the scant dialogue sounds banal amidst Georgina Sowerby’s and Jon Lee’s erratic and self-conscious production. The strongest scenes are the simplest ones and when Pony (Benedict Hopper) anticipates her death with a hauntingly cool monologue, this tragedy's cruel and relentless force flickers, falteringly, into life.