Get our free email newsletter with just one click

4D Cinema review at the Marlborough Theatre, Brighton – ‘surreally comic’

Mamoru Iriguchi in 4d Cinema at Marlborough Theatre, Brighton. Photo: Julia Bauer Mamoru Iriguchi in 4d Cinema at Marlborough Theatre, Brighton. Photo: Julia Bauer
by -

Theatremaker (and ex-zoologist) Mamoru Iriguchi somehow approaches the world like a newborn – but one with a projector screen strapped to his head. In his previous work, he’s used tech to take a surrealist tug at daily life. He has the open-faced innocence of a silent movie actor and an anthropologist’s eye.

Where shows like Projector/Conjector played with gender, Iriguchi’s latest, 4D Cinema (touring the UK en-route to Edinburgh), is about the unspooling of time, the limbo-like subjectivity of film, and life and death. In typically anthropomorphic fashion, Iriguchi is a cinema screen, possessed by Marlene Dietrich’s spirit.

In high heels and a hot-pink suit, he projects footage of Dietrich’s life – while making eggnog. There’s a smattering of awkward audience interaction. But this first half-hour is really about setting up a reveal that everything so far has been filmed from behind us. We then watch this play backwards, in real time.

Iriguchi re-spins the Dietrich life-story we’ve seen, overlaying a different, bleaker script. It’s an approach that digs excitedly into your brain and makes you think sideways about beginnings and endings. However, for all of this, 4D Cinema is also hard work in places – particularly in the first half, which frequently feels laboured for the sake of the payoff.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Surreally comic, typically techy exploration of time by one of UK theatre’s most ingenious figures