The Wedding at Gecko Theatre online
Led by Artistic Director Amit Lahav, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed physical theatre company, Gecko, explores the idea of being married to one’s job in their show The Wedding. Combining choreography, sound, storyboarding and reflection, this production utilises a wide range of theatrical styles to depict a dysfunctional society in which aspiring individuals undergo a symbolic wedding as a process of initiation into a world of suits, telephones and an incomprehensible stream of noises.
Like birds twittering in myriad tongues, The Wedding thrusts people and their varied languages into one globalised urban space of disillusionment and discontent. This is embodied in the worker whose routine movement between work, drink and home leads to alcoholism, marital disputes, and the inevitability of an affair, while the objects of his discontentment hover about him as incessant reminders of his entrapment.
Initiates slide onto the stage through a tunnel, carrying teddy bears which are then cast onto a pile like a junkyard of neglected identities. Each then go through a symbolic marriage ceremony that combines Greek, Jewish and Middle Eastern customs – identifiable through dance and music – after which they are guided through a door that leads to the mundane routine of the cooperate world.
There are no gender distinctions in the initiation process, which is signified by a wedding dress that the characters are given after discarding their teddy bears. When a new recruit expresses dissatisfaction upon joining the corporate environment – displayed in exaggerated flamenco-inspired movements, it paves the way for a rebellion that gains momentum when a homeless man disguises himself as one of the office workers.
The production also alludes to distinctions of class within the society, conveyed by faceless masters who dine at a high table while large numbers of unnamed workers continue below. Meanwhile, from a suitcase emerges a family with a begging cup that threatens to remain as empty as the faces passing by, despite the family’s efforts. The comedy of the suitcase housing the homeless shines a light onto those readily ignored and cast to the side, but the declaration “amo le carte” feeds the dangerously flawed idea that links gambling and other vice with the poor.
The experimental style of this production works well with its criticism of the destructive rat-race, but the continuous muddled-up noise can leave viewers with a long-lasting headache.
Photo: Richard Haughton