Out of darkness comes Light
Light – Theatre Ad Infinitum @ The Pit, Barbican Centre (Touring until 16 February 2015)
Performed as part of the London International Mime Festival
Light is proof, as if any were needed by now, that Theatre Ad Infinitum are staggeringly good. Just staggeringly, staggeringly good. They are a theatre company that completely and utterly confound expectations, and produce plays make you leave the auditorium wanting to tell everyone you know that the absolutely most important thing they could be doing is going to see one of their productions.
Hence the gushing opening paragraph.
Slowly but surely people are waking up to their talents. Light, performed as part of the London International Mime Festival, sold out months ago. They clearly have a devoted fan base and have won a number of fringe awards but it feels like they are currently on the cusp, like 1927 with Golem, of producing a show that takes them out of the Barbican’s rather tiny Pit theatre and onto the main stages.
Theatre Ad Infinitum are not a company that like to sit still. They came to my attention at the London International Mime Festival in 2012 with Translunar Paradise – a work of quiet, tragic brilliance. It demonstrated in its simple, understated way the art of puppetry and despite the alienating effects of the mime it felt more human than any other play produced that year.
They followed it up with something completely different; the hyper-verbal, bundle of energy that was Ballad of the Burning Star. If not as technically refined as Translunar Paradise, it was a fabulously entertaining take on the most contentious issue in world politics. It was a forceful piece of theatre that refused to allow itself to be pigeonholed and gave very few easy answers.
And now they are back with Light. This time we are in genre sci-fi territory with a dystopian piece of futurism, imagining what might be as twin developments in technology and neuroscience allow for an ever greater entwining of individual and social consciousness.