“Schrödinger” by Reckless Sleepers

at Warwick Arts Centre, Monday 14th November 2011

Written for www.StageWon.co.uk

“It may seem to you that we have done this for the first time” is as close as Reckless Sleepers’ Schrödinger comes to a strapline. Yet this is the last thing on our mind; the very point of this show is that it considers the ritualistic aspects of life, how certain events become commonplace and how only the visible world around us can be seen to be ‘real’ at any one time. This physical-theatre-cum-performance art production mixes humour, intellect and mesmerising movement in order to ask some rather deep philosophical questions.

The set is a a black box with one side taken out, complete with doors, traps and shutters, in and around which all the action takes place. The cast of five (Mole Wetherell, Leen Dewilde, Alex Covell, Leentje Van De Cruys, Kevin Egan) enter and exit the cuboid with remarkable energy, moving from scene to scene. One involves one man wrongly naming the pictures on pieces of cards, the other a drinking game which gets wildly out of hand. There’s no narrative, merely vigenettes of characters’ lives within the space.

What it’s all trying to say is anyone’s guess. It seems the director Mole Wetherell is making a point about our perception of our world from both internal and external vantage points, questioning how things can seem to be one thing within a space yet be utterly different in reality. The philosophy on show is a mixture of the problem cat-in-a-box of the title, Plato’s Cave and Beckett’s ideas about the cyclical movement of time.

This isn’t theatre as such, and never professes to be, yet the live quality gives an air of excitement and drama, especially as the piece reaches its frenzied climax. The influences are endless, yet one suspects it hasn’t got merely a handful of origins in Events and Happenings of the 1960s. There’s something cathartic and hypnotic about it, bring joy and despair in equal measure. We are told at one point that “Between the times when you are certain and when you are confused you will see that again”. And with a few particular images and moments seared on my skull, I don’t doubt that for a moment.


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