Trust review at Gate Theatre, London – ‘chaos and complexity’
Set to a text by German writer Falk Richter, director Jude Christian’s inventive, occasionally bamboozling show, Trust, is like watching a huge art installation explode into life across 100 minutes.
Each of the 16 scenes (though that’s hardly the best word for what they are) adopts a different mode: a breakup staged as a talk show, a monologue full of similes that fold in on themselves, a karaoke song. Each scene adds more objects onto the initially empty stage so that by the end it’s rammed to the rafters with clutter and detritus.
The scenes are baffling to begin with. But, through the repetition of words, names and phrases, the whole thing eventually begins to make sense. The build up is slow and full of digressions and diversions, but when this huge beast gets going it seems to be about two things: a fracturing relationship and late-stage capitalism.
Alongside Christian, Pia Laborde Noguez and Zephryn Taitte give fascinating, physical and tongue-in-cheek performances. The audience is given mint imperials at one point and taught Mandarin at another, while backdrops unfurl at the tug of a cord. A Roomba becomes a malevolent presence.
Some of the scenes feel like they’re saying nothing with a lot of words, others just have to mention the word “neoliberalism” to be a shibboleth for all the things that are horrible in the world: close quarters living, bankers, Brexit, the service economy, vast inequality of wealth and knowledge about how that wealth works.
Trust so full of ideas that some of them are, inevitably, less interesting than others and a couple of scenes frustrate more than they enlighten. In the end, it’s best to submit to the chaos and the complexity, to laugh and despair at the world.