Review: The Roof
Directed and choreographed by David Rosenberg and Frauke Requardt, I was hopeful. It showed so much potential! Sometimes it's just not meant to be. OK, so I may have sneered more than necessary at the prospect of having to stand through the show but I was willing to give it a shot. For the sake of art, I thought. Besides, rooftops are pretty cool. I can deal with a bit of standing. Well, think again. The name of the play is somewhat misleading because you are in fact not on a roof. Instead you are standing in a parking lot, surrounded by the stage. There's gravel underneath your feet. A lot of gravel. The stage is a 360 degree construction around the audience. Purpose built, it's probably to make the audience feel as if they're truly a part of something but if I'm honest all it gave anyone was neck pain. A two level stage in front of the audience would've felt just as much like watching someone else play a video game, but in this case we would've at least had the comfort of sitting down. It also takes away the moment where everyone is spinning around to see if maybe there's something happening behind them. No, there isn't. Stop staring at me. At first it was quite interesting. A man speaks to us, he then rises to the platform. His first moves had us captivated. Will he fall? Will he make it? The sound was amazing, too. We were all to wear headphones that made it feel like we were a part of the game. Alas, the fact we were literally in the middle of said game didn't have the same effect. After one round it became a bit repetitive. After two I was rolling my eyes. Are you saying life is sometimes mundane? Because I'd happily admit to that without going to the theatre. The hero we were supposedly meant to identify with was one dimensional. We didn't know anything about him, nor did we even fully understand what his goal was in the game. There was no emotional involvement. We didn't even care much for his goals. It was just... very bland. Even the obstacles he was to overcome weren't that exciting. Equally as boring was the male hero/princess needing to be saved concept - at least make it convincing and show me a damsel in distress then. The ending left me confused - why did it end the way it did? There were highlights obviously. The aforementioned sound was one of them. It was also soundtracked in a clever way; in a way that enhanced the mood. Some of the song lyrics might make you laugh. The little speaking there was also had witty moments - you don't hear much of what's around you underneath the headphones but it's safe to assume there was laughter. There was definitely smirking and internal chuckles. The rabbit-like dancers and pointy masks were amusing, the dance moves alluring. It wasn't a complete waste of time. It had my attention and much of it was enjoyable. Sadly it just didn't live up to what it was meant to be.
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By Paul Hampartsoumian[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25066" align="aligncenter" width="620"]
By Paul Hampartsoumian[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25067" align="aligncenter" width="620"]
By Paul Hampartsoumian[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25068" align="aligncenter" width="620"]
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By Paul Hampartsoumian[/caption] Cover image: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian