Thursday, 23 October 2014
'The House That Will Not Stand' Tricycle Theatre ***
Another production that's revelling in Black History Month in Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre is Marcus Gardley’s,‘The House That Will Not Stand’ was one that did not wholly absorb one's engagement, especially throughout the first act. ‘The House That Will Not Stand’ is set in 1836, in New Orleans, acquaints us with Beatrice, who has become colossally wealthy due to the fact she's been having an enigmatic relationship with a white man, who has become recently deceased. Unfortunately for Beatrice and have three daughters, Agnes, Maude Lynn and Odette their pleasure is about to disintegrate as racial divides is increasing and the arguments become unsettling. In addition to this, the house that Beatrice’s secret dead partner, Lazare appears to haunt the family and even the parlour maid, Makeda begins to panic, as well as they insinuates that the ghost will never leave them alone. Conversely, Agnes and Maude Lynn are bothered by their mothers’ relentless condemnation; in particular when they hunger for some male attention and to drink alcohol as most young females do. They attempt to sneak out, but the two of them realise that the youngest sibling, Odette may inform on them and explain to their mother of their whereabouts. So that this does not happen they decide to tie up against one of the pillars within the house. Unluckily enough for Agnes and Maude Lynn, she squeals for help, and explains to Beatrice to that they have gone out socialising, which causes disgruntlement when they return from their night out. Moreover, it seems that religion plays a major factor into Beatrice’s disapproval of the girls’ actions, and the use of Voodoo is used when the ghost of Lazare becomes apparent. Gardley’s narrative is very agreeable as it enables us to witness this destruction of the family who may ultimately lose all their wealth and property. Paradoxically, the plot lacks some dramaturgical cohesiveness, in terms of its style which makes me question what the actual stylisation is. The performances by the company of ‘The House That Will Not Stand’ were portrayed with graceful ease. Martina Laird is wonderful as the matriarch, Beatrice. One found she conveyed a real sense of importance when she's been given a lot of money from her deceased lover, and her vocal work within her upset was enormously captivating throughout the production. Tanya Moodie’s spectacular as the Alban’s slave, Makeda; especially when we witness her hope for freedom and for her life prospects can improve, as well as Beatrice’s trusting respect as for the work she undertakes each day. The Tricycle Theatre’s artistic director Indhu Rubashingham directs and one thought she has directed a marvellous piece of performance that encapsulates the essence of black history. On the other hand, some of the supernatural elements left a lot to be desired as it was not as mystical as one had hoped. Tom Piper's design was suitable here as you're immediately engrossed with a somewhat troubled situation, and the Albans’ house does appear to be increasingly fraught with terror with the presence of a ghostly figure. Overall, one found the experience of ‘The House That Will Not Stand’ was very appealing, but needed some coherency within the narrative. Worth a visit to the Tricycle Theatre.
Posted by Kieran (The Dramatic) Knowles at 13:29