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September 27, 2010 | by  | in Theatre |
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Resolve

Resolve is the second work by Odd Socks productions. Their first work was the ham-handed yet well-intentioned Words Apart. Odd Socks’ self-generated remit is to make work that appeals to deaf as well as hearing audiences. Resolve is a very big and surprisingly experimental step towards the creation of a theatre that can communicate with both the deaf and the hearing. With your programme you are given a balloon and some ear plugs. The ear plugs are because the sound is turned up loud so that you can feel the vibrations of the sound through the balloons. It’s really trippy and extremely awesome.

As an exercise in form, Resolve is a success. Thomas Press and Murray Hickman’s soundscape and Rachel Marlow’s lights work incredibly well together to create an interesting and evolving pallette of theatricality. The design elements of Resolve (with the exception of the slapdash set) are the true stars, giving tour-de-force performances, and they are worth the price of entry alone.

This is lucky because the play itself is sadly not up to much. It is only through reading director Nicola Clements’ note in the programme that I understood that the seemingly random vignettes that shapelessly fill the hour running time bore any connection—whether thematic or plot-based—to each other. Resolve feels like a 20 cent notebook half-filled with sketches and half-formed ideas. There’s some good stuff in here. It’s just a long way from being ready for public consumption. Scenes frequently repeat themselves and each other without development or variation; I often found myself wishing that the tableaux and sequences in Resolve were as interesting and dynamic as Clements clearly thinks they are. As much as Resolve triumphs as an exercise in form and design, it fails in its storytelling and, sadly, communication.

Resolve
dir. Nicola Clements
perf. Lorena Hayward, Melissa Sutton, Ben Webb, Jared Flitcroft, Saran Goldie-Anderson and Nadia Austin
At BATS, 6.30pm, until the 2nd October
book@bats.co.nz | (04) 802 4175

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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