Theatre review: Kassys’ Cadavre Exquis at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells

Experimental show doesn’t quite live up to exciting premise, writes Daisy Jestico

The premise of the Cadavre Exquis is exciting and experimental – four international playwrights devising different parts of the same play without any clue of the content of the preceding act except for the last 60 seconds.

It’s like Consequences, the game you used to play as a kid that always left you creasing up in laughter at the ridiculous scenarios it created.

Except that this performance led by the Kassys theatre company falls short on amusement and creativity. While you’re not expecting a great deal of commonality between the acts, even the slightest connection would make it more gratifying. The playwrights were handed a small snippet of the previous act, yet most of them decided to ignore the link entirely and strip the cast and set back to their own individual plots.

In fact stripping was the most entertaining part of the show. A 15-minute section where the four cast members threw their clothes about and performed a compelling dance complete with monkey masks and a pumping soundtrack was a highlight.

The concept was intriguing enough to sustain the audience’s attention and the individual ideas were compelling and truthful, it’s just a shame that as a whole it didn’t quite work. But if the measure of success is based on how long the performance lingers in your mind, then it certainly did the trick.

* Kassys’ Cadavre Exquis was performed at the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R, on September 13-14.

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