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Eris review at the Bunker, London – ‘an orchestrated riot of sound and movement’

Eris Katherine Laheen, Ashling O'Shea and Cormac Elliott. Photo: Connor Harris
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Eris was the goddess of strife and her most important role in mythical history was to act as a catalyst to the Trojan War. She reappears in western literature, perhaps best known as Maleficent, the fairy not invited to the christening in Sleeping Beauty, but in John King’s play her role is far more subtle.

Sean is out of sorts since his sister announced her nuptials and he has been told that his long-term partner can’t sit at the top table. Tim is too camp for their Irish Catholic tastes but as it turns out Sean and Tim have just split up anyway.

Sean addresses the issue in several unsatisfactory ways but eventually ends up taking his pansexual, polyamorous flatmate Callista – an indomitable Ashling O’Shea – to the wedding instead. The ensuing chaos and final resolution rescues an otherwise ponderous and slightly frustrating narrative, where the most exciting element is how the story is actually told.

King’s mythical allegory is pretty obscure and ultimately fails to establish itself fully amid the melee of wedding preparations. Airlock’s collaborative storytelling technique is a thrilling combination of sound, music and physical theatre. Cormac Elliott plays the emotionally blackmailed Sean, while a chorus of four other performers switch and swap characters and voices.

Everything from the cacophony of social media to a trip to see Cats the Musical is born out with meticulous timing and slick vocal choreography under the direction of Robbie Taylor Hunt. It’s an orchestrated riot of sound and movement from a very polished ensemble.

Chris Sonnex appointed artistic director of London’s Bunker Theatre

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Verdict
Variable tale told with an exceptional collaborative storytelling technique
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