28th May, 2020

If you like absurd theatre, Amédée at the Birmingham Rep is for you

Bromsgrove Editorial 4th Mar, 2017

EUGENE Ionesco was the father of the ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ where the meaning of the play is in the image created for the performance.

The interpretation is a movable feast and everyone will see something different.

Director Roxana Silbert’s vision of this latest adaption of Ionesco’s Amédée by Sean Foley is best enjoyed by not thinking too hard about what you are seeing at the time but analysing it afterwards.

I had the benefit of seeing it with a drama teacher from BOA and an enthusiast of radical theatre. He saw it as a play about dark secrets and political skullduggery with which I concur but I was more occupied on a less cerebrallevel with trying to analyse the significance of the nameless dead giant who’s body grows throughout the play along with legions of mushrooms.

Eventually there is almost no room left to move in the flat where writer Amédée and his wife Madeleine hide with their secrets. Trevor Fox and Josie Lawrence both give stunning performances as the two protagonists and the set by T Green is triumphant.

In the couple’s conversations there are hints of darker things – child murder –double agents – terrorism and much more; but best to let this wash over you and just savour the madness.

That way it seems almost normal when Amédée flies off into the sky at the end of the play clutching onto the feet of the giant and Madeleine – well Madeleine goes off down the pub with a bunch of strange folk from both sides of somewhere I took to be the modern day Palestine/Israeli border.

It is unique and magical show on many levels.

If you like your theatre weird and wacky catch it whilst you can – if however you prefer it ‘comfortable’ then this probably isn’t for you.

Amédée runs at The Birmingham Rep’s Studio theatre until March 11.

For more information and tickets, which are £10, visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk or call

Review by Euan Rose

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