The Shape of Things @ The New Theatre

A nerdy student falls in love with a spontaneous and rebellious artist, who tries to sculpt him into shape. She turns out to be crafty in more than just one sense of the word, as her Art exhibition reveals.

There was no set. I wasn’t sure what to make of this to be honest. A blank canvas, or should I say a black canvas – the only colour came from the fluorescent pink props. This colour scheme was consistent throughout, enabling the audience to focus on the script, which was undoubtedly the main focus. Humour aside, the script raised some key questions about ‘what is art?’ And at what point should the line be drawn? These questions are left unanswered, and consequently this play seeks a reflective audience who must interpret it in the same way as they would a piece of art.

In fact scenery was saved as the ‘piece de résistance’ with the Art exhibition being stunningly revealed at the end. The stark lack of scenery in terms of props and backdrop was subverted to culminate in a plethora of colour and fascination. It was intended to shock; this sudden bombardment of colour made a hard-hitting aesthetic statement.

The location of each scene was written in graffiti on the wall, which although effective in displaying the scenes as art – did make scene changes slightly too long. They say art is timeless, and the lack of scenery also envoked a sense of timelessness. The chairs and tables were cardboard, suggesting that ‘There is no such truth in art’. This lack of realism helped to reinforce the confusion at the end, where the audience are not quite sure whose version of events to believe, as conflict sets in between the protagonists.

The plot was brilliant, it was carried along by an awkward humour – we shouldn’t have been laughing but we were. Even the American accent was well polished. The audience though were merely critics- we were never really supposed to connect with these characters. This was best emphasised when the lead characters, Phillip and Adam, joined us in the audience for Evelyn’s project to be unveiled. This emphasised the idea that even the play itself is an Art form ready to be judged.

Supposedly through art you can ‘strive to change the world’, and perhaps this play as an artwork strives to change how we judge appearances, and to look at the power of comestic surgery. This play might just change your world, but you’d have to go and see it first.

By Amy Pearson

ArtsArts Reviews
3 Comments on this post.
  • Mark
    29 March 2010 at 14:42
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    Excellent review 🙂

  • Rachel
    29 March 2010 at 17:13
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    Very well put Amy!! 🙂

  • Sam
    3 April 2010 at 21:10
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    This is not a review, its a plot summary. It would be fantastic if at some point if you mentioned the actors, perhaps their names and even one detail about their performances? Ultimately, the actors need are a pretty integral part to a show, you would think. Great show though.

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