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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
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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.

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Verdict
Surreally comic, typically techy exploration of time by one of UK theatre’s most ingenious figures
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