Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Toujours et Pres de Moi

“Pensive and dream-like”

Pepper’s Ghost is a 19th-century illusionary trick created by the strategic positioning of mirrors so that an image appears seemingly inexplicably where it shouldn’t.

Toujours et Pres de Moi by Patrick Eakin Young is a piece of almost dialogue-free theatre centred on this historic theatrical technique. 

In this specific case, the ‘ghosts’ are sent into the performance space by first being projected onto the floor. 

 A woman (Sarah Thom) and a man (Francois Testory) stand at a table topped with wooden boxes. A few loud knocks signal the start of a succession of tiny people emerging and retreating into these boxes.

 And… that’s about it.

The couple watches as the holographic Borrowers act out a story of love, rejection, aloneness and human connection, some of which appears to function as a microcosm of the couple’s own relationship.

Underscored by a succession of operatic songs, the work is enjoyably meditative and visually arresting. The images are like half-forgotten memories or never-realised dreams. But once you’ve got over the initial cleverness of Pepper’s Ghost, the repetition of the piece is a little too much. Perhaps, in an age of VR technology, we’re too spoilt for illusions to really marvel at Victorian artistry.


Related to this Review

Casus: You and ICasus: You and I

Production Details
Production nameToujours et Pres de Moi
VenueAssembly Roxy
StartsAugust 2, 2018
EndsAugust 27, 2018
Running time50mins
AuthorPatrick Eakin Young
DirectorPatrick Eakin Young
Set designerPatrick Eakin Young
Lighting designerDan Saggers
Sound designerRoss Flight
Video designerPatrick Eakin Young
CastFrancois Testory, Sarah Thom
TechnicalRyan Safford
ProducerGeorge Warren for Erratica
VerdictPensive and dream-like recreation of a Victorian theatrical illusion
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In