Kefar Nahum, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh: Review


Mossoux-Bonté’s production of Kefar Nahum is a sensual exploration of the turbulent and bizarre nature of creation. In a striking piece of visual theatre, sole performer Nicole Mossoux creates a stunning blend of theatre and dance which leaves the viewer astonished and reflective.

There is no exact plot in this piece, rather there is a seamless flow of one creation to the next conjured out of everyday objects as commonplace as clothes or watering cans. Mossoux breathes life into these items of seeming unimportance by giving them ‘being’ and a soul. Born out of nothing, a chaotic incarnation sees each creature arrive inquisitively before being devoured by a subsequent creature.

As each monstrosity changes, becoming the next, questions arise regarding the random fortuitousness of existence in what is everchanging and cyclical in nature. As each being evolves, similarities can be drawn to our own curious subsistence and how it doesn’t differ entirely from this absurd state of affairs.

Mussoux becomes part of the narrative, transforming herself into parts of the characters in a way that is disturbing yet strangely erotic. Changing costume as she goes along, she too embodies seperate identities; each as much a stranger as those she creates.

The UK rarely sees puppetry outside of childrens’ performances and it is a delight to see it used here expressing themes that come across as dark and adult, in scenes ranging from the distressing to the comedic. Accompanied by exquisite live music from Thomas Turine, an eerie and macabre element is added through a combination of various synthetic sounds which allows the viewer to be transported into this extraordinary world.

Although a relatively short piece at only 50 minutes, any longer may have felt overbearing. The style of the performance made for a sensual onslaught that really tested the extent of the viewer’s imagination and thus made its short length appropriate. For those who find visual theatre cumbersome, Mossoux-Bonté’s production offers a potential rejolting of one’s preconceptions provided you are able to engage your creativity. For anyone else, it offers a stimulating insight into the preternatural method of creation in a performance that is both innovative and gripping.

Taking from The Journal, published Wed Feb 23rd 2011.

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