Elevator at the P.A.C

October 28, 2013


After the Amyl nitrate of Alice in Funderland comes the skag of Elevator. While the former’s effect was fleeting and mind melting, the latest show from THISISPOPBABY gurns through longing and loss, which has solidified into icy cold detachment for the children of the 1%.

Reunited in the gated seat of a disconcertingly absent friend, five former school mates snort, strut and shag themselves senseless while reaming out seemingly random memories of morally bankrupt excess. But their racy lingerie, fabulous furs, deliberate speech and pointed poses cannot contain the covetous ache when they speak of something pure. With poetic tongues and shallow graces Philip McMahon’s characters show us the fallacy of the chemical connection, releasing genuine feeling into the intoxicated ether, before normal service resumes when the high wears off.

Alma Kelliher’s 5am electro beats shine through the cracked, affected curtains of their pretence, though the production chooses not to dramatise McMahon’s lyrics, which are performed like pop songs that neither impose on, nor enlighten, the text. It’s an effective avoidance of tidy exposition which leaves us as lost to the characters as they are to each other(and to themselves). Instead it elevates the wiry sense of yearning and weariness, staged with a glacial, mind bending aesthete that recalls the lost glory days of late night MTV.

Elevator captures the essence of its inspirations. And in taking the audience to the bitter end of excess Wayne Jordan’s louche production exposes the discomfort some still have with sexual ambiguity. One wishes it went further, to shock shut the titters emitted during a dalliance between two males, marked in contrast to the charged silence bestowed on the lipstick lesbians. But while Elevator’s shimmering surface can seem like it’s about something distant, it taps heavily into the mood of its generation.

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