Unsung - SKaGeN/KVS 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 16, Aug 2018
If you like a bit of schadenfreunde, then this one man play starring Valentijn Dhaenens is just for you. Incorporating traits of past and present politicians we meet our anti hero who walks onto the stage and begins a political lecture. Laughter soon rings out as the audience realise that the cliché ridden speech has little or no message and we are being spin doctored to the extreme. As soon becomes apparent, all his pronouncements are all gloss and no substance, much like the man himself.
Throughout the play, any appearance of genuine engagement with the public is negated by a disembodied voice constantly questioning the politician and suggesting more media friendly responses, so we rarely see the real man as he is constantly shifting policies to suit his image. In fact how he looks on stage is given far more importance than any policy. When he lets his guard down (interactions with his family, attitudes to competitors) a cold hard streak comes to the fore. Even his lover, whom he appears to have genuine affection for, is told in between sweet nothings that he will drop her to pursue his career.
His downfall comes through his own weakness and stupidity but even when we see a man full of remorse, that is just him practising his speech to face the press. He really is Teflon coated. Perhaps too familiar to be truly shocking given the political climate of today this was a really enjoyable play. Valentijn was brilliant as he slipped between the sincere political persona and the politician’s true self and his scene with the plant is one I will not forget in a hurry.
Reviewed by Rona
Summerhall Main Hall
Until 26th August (not 20th)