There are tea leaves everywhere, endless potential cups to drink. In a place where time seems to have no meaning, there is more than enough opportunity to rake up the past, a past better left forgotten but which is the focal point of the discussion. Discussion over tea, a way in which to sit down and put the world to rights. If Not Today, Eventually sees a somewhat dishevelled, almost ethereal setting where the woman in blue (Nicky Ingram) and the woman in red (Nicoletta Procopiou) can iron out their dirty laundry and try to make sense of it all.
Lorenza Gentile’s script is abstract, to say the least. Stephano Regueros Savvides embraces the art of physical acting in this interpretation, every line delivered with accompanying movement, almost a ritual dance where the spell isn’t cast unless the step and rhythm accompanies the cadence of the prose. But for the most part, the requirement to transition from move to move, position to position, slows down the conversation, causes the absurd text to become robotic and somewhat devoid of emotional impact. The speech disconnects with the script, which in itself emphasises the absence of reality.
But, as the show progresses, the symbolism becomes clearer. As the tangled plot is slowly unwound, comprehension dawns on the audience. It is for a reason that there is seemingly so much chaos – Ingram and Procopiou interact and deliver with a meaning that slowly reveals itself. There is an explanation behind the awkwardness, the shroud that veils the truth on stage is mirrored by the lies prevalent in the story that they retell. The story of the adulteress and her lover, a lover who did not know he was in a polyandrous relationship. A little white lie that spiralled out of control but that eventually trips off the tongue until it trips up all those caught in its web. Gentile’s writing justifies itself by the end, an ending that is filled with regret and is doomed to repeat ad nauseum.
Ingram and Procopiou throw themselves into the ludicrousness of their roles. Ingram portrays a detail focussed character, the side of the brain that needs to know exactly what happens as it happens. Her performance is similarly intricate in its interpretation and displays a higher level of proficiency. Procopiou is a more conceptual actor and conveys a greater physical presence, one which is ultimately more in tune with Regueros’ absurdist instruction.
If Not Today, Eventually seems trivial on the surface, a good old natter over a brew. But if there were cake, it would be mouldy, putrefying and decayed. Whilst there seemingly exists an endless cavern devoid of time, too much has evidently past. The lies take their toll, the price is paid and the results are left to rot.
Director: Stephano Regueros Savvides
Producer: Milk and Honey Theatre
Writer: Lorenza Gentile
Design: Claudia Ceccantini (Costume)
Cast: Nicky Ingram; Nicoletta Procopiou
Runs until 17 Sept 2016