Teatr Biuro Podróży – Planet Lem

1st July 2011 – Watch This Space, National Theatre

From the people who previously bought Pigs On Stilts to the Southbank – it’s Scary Aliens On Stilts! How cool is that?

This is a science-fiction, physical-theatre extravaganza. A post-singularity dystopian world with aliens, evil machine descendents of toasters, bloated human slaves, a hero, a robotic side kick, a tent, projections and a white knuckle techno sound track. And stilts! How cool is that? Stilts are always cool.

Teatr Biuro Podróżys' Planet Lem

Teatr Biuro Podróżys’ Planet Lem

Spoiler Alert – this review contains details that possibly just might resemble the plot of this performance. However, the writer is unsure about this and will not in any way be held responsible for not having a bleeding clue about what any of this actually meant.

The action starts with our hero arriving from the past into a shoot out with the ruling aliens on stilts. A firework is set off. The firework is cool.

A HAL-like recorded narrator explains “It started with smart toasters and the crushing of dissent”. Humans have forgotten history and surrendered thinking to machines. Our hero observes the subjugated humans dominated by the descendants of toasters.

The humans are horrendously bloated babies cradled in pimped up shopping trolleys. They mine energy giving light, to an Einstuerzende Neubauten like cacophony, over seen by the descendents of toasters on stilts. Our hero, in between killing the descendents of toasters and observing bloated babies, befriends a Darth Vader looking thing and they dance to rock and roll on a dictaphone.

But it’s not all fun and games. Our hero, having lost contact with his controllers from the past, joins the bloated babies entering a pod like cocoon. Our hero leads the bloated babies into revolt. They rise up against the machines. Hurrah! Freedom is ours! The bloated babies are free to squabble amongst themselves and rebuild the dastardly toasters which they all too quickly do. Fools! Have you forgotten already?

Finally, our hero, all blonde curls and simian limbs, is raised, crucified Christlike, to the stars. Presumably returning to a better past where humans subjugated humans and toasters toasted bread.

I guess  this production is meant to be dark and thought-provoking. But it is more comical and un-inventive. I am reminded of the disgusting fat naked lady in the health spa of Little Britain. I am reminded of Star Wars, of 2001. But mostly I see a Disney-like Darth Vader On Ice. Take away the stilts and all that remains is a meaningless parade of science fiction clichés held together by all too terrestrial art subsidy.

Teatr Biuro Podróży repeat their performance of Planet Lem tonight (2nd July 2011) at 10pm, Watch This Space, National Theatre


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