Words by Yana Papaya
Photography by Amy Atkinson and John Rata
I love water. This is my element. I am naturally drawn to things, places, and experiences that somehow are connected to water. That was one of the selfish reasons I went to see Pool (No Water). A play wriiten by an award-winning British playwright Mark Ravenhill, directed by young and beautiful Amber Liberté is on at Basement Theatre 23-26 May, Auckland, New Zealand.
Another reason I went to see the how was the fact that I needed my “theatre fix”.
Did I get my fix? I still don’t know.
I have mixed feelings about the play. Maybe that’s the aftertaste that directors wanted me to have.
Pool (No Water) is an hour-long, super dynamic, and intimate play that requires a certain quality from the audience. You have to be imaginative. Why? Because the stage set is very simple but multifunctional. It “takes” you to different places – from the luxurious home with the pool to the hospital to the exhibition hall. You really have to work hard and switch on your imagination, so you can travel from one place to another with a bunch of young people who are dying to tell you a story.
That ensemble of extremely good-looking young actors demonstrates a superb performance. They are eloquently and passionately trying to win your heart, so a dramatic twist of the story, their cruel intentions will be shadowed, unnoticed, maybe even understood or justified by the audience.
To me, it is the story about fake relationships driven by jealousy, filthy ambition, greed, and hypocrisy. It’s about loneliness and lack of true connection in the world of “rich and famous”. In that realm seems like people around you don’t want to get to know REAL you, rather they want to have relationships with material objects, money, fame, and glory that you have.
The story is told through elements of drama, art, and dance. I personally expected more dance in the play based on the previous work of talented Amber Liberté that I loved and saw before.
More fluid or abrupt dance. Fewer words. Please…
Did I enjoy the play? I still don’t know.
I liked the contrasts. How can the pool be without water? Probably in the same way as a bunch of friends who are super attractive from the outside, can be so empty and dirty from the inside. There is no living force within them. There is No Water running in them. Just Pretty Exterior.
There is no Fun or Joy in the pool without water, isn’t it?
The play left me numb and cold. I probably felt like the main character in the story who doesn’t say a word during the play. She looks like a remote and isolated island. However, to me, it’s better to be an island in the sea, rather than being surrounded by creatures who don’t let you breathe and blossom.
Now it’s time to go to the pool. Swimming Pool. With lots of water, please.
What are you up to?
Pool (No Water) 23-26 May 8 pm at Basement Theatre.
$20-25 per ticket. Click here to view show details.