Jon is thinking about leaving. What, and to go where, we don’t know. Magne van den Berg’s play doesn’t deal in the detail at first. But with Jon’s simple revelation a chain reaction is started that rips four friendships apart.
Dirctor Alice Malin has the four actors stand on stage in carefully choreographed patterns, swapping terse lines that go straight to the point. Louise says Jon is leaving, Sjon has heard he’s not. That conflict hangs in the air.
Under Malin, the actors move from basic geometric patterns to more fluid and messy shapes. Eventually the lines of the script get fuller and the movement more intense. Physical oddities start to appear: Sjon leans in a bit too close, Louise starts to cry.
From a paring back of human interaction to its skeletal form, the piece slowly chips away at these stone blocks of characters until they’re detailed, recognisable people.
The course of the play shows a deft and fascinating accrual from direct relation of fact, simple sentences in Purni Morell’s terse translation, to the development of inner thought and fully fleshed characters with their own personalities.
It also becomes crueller and sadder the more recognisably real these people become. It’s a really clever bit of writing, even if it sometimes feels like quite a dry exercise.