Conceived and Directed by Momentum and Tanya Khabarova
Unity Theatre, 3rd February 2006
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the ancient Greek story of Orpheus and
Eurydice. Orpheus composed poems and songs that moved stones and trees.
He married Eurydice, who was fatally poisoned by a snake bite. Orpheus
travelled to the underworld realm of Hades to fetch her, but was instead
presented with an apparition.
Not that you'd guess much of that from this show. I got that Eurydice
died, and I got that Orpheus had reached Hades because the lighting went
red, but that was about it. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing.
Far from it in fact.
Yorgos Karamalegos as Orpheus and Elinor Randle as Eurydice pulled-off
an hour of frenetic, highly energetic, and passionate dance that was an
exhausting pleasure to witness. Though their interpretation of the story
was highly abstract, this actually seemed to add to the greatness of the
experience, as the viewer was invited to compare the action on stage to
events from their own lives. Paul Skinner’s original soundtrack
ably interwove diverse musical styles - from soaring operatic vocals to
hip hop beats. The sparse costumes allowed for maximum freedom of movement,
and this potential was realised with writhing, jumping and struggling
the likes of which mere words could never hope to invoke. The packed theatre
reacted with impassioned cheering and applause.
This performance marked something of a homecoming for Liverpool-based
Momentum, who are taking Memento Mori around Europe. The group formed
in March 2003 after completing Hope Street's Physical Theatre Programme,
and ‘Tmesis’ - their reworking of a speech from Plato’s
’Symposium’ - impressed critics that same year. On this evidence,
the duo continues to go from strength to strength, and I eagerly anticipate
their next production.