Lippy Is A Dark Surreal Theatrical Experiment

By Londonist Last edited 42 months ago
Lippy Is A Dark Surreal Theatrical Experiment ★★★☆☆ 3

Bush Moukarzel as The Interviewer. Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆

Lippy by Bush Moukarzel and Mark O’Halloran is an odd one. An all out challenge to the conventional theatre-going experience, it's a piece that wrong-foots the audience and drags you into a world that is bizarre, dark and sinister.

The play opens with a mock post show Q&A hosted by Moukarzel as an awkward, cheesy version of himself interviewing one of the actors (David Heap) who is also playing a version of himself. We delve into the stimulus and themes of a show we have not yet watched and then onto the subject of lip reading. David discusses using his skills to help the police study CCTV footage and talks about a case from 2000 in which three young women and their middle aged aunt were found dead in the small town of Leixlip in County Kildare.

It's at this point that we are thrust into the dark world of that story. First we get a strange metamorphosis of four forensics workers into the women who died, then we observe them living out their lives in a slow moving soup that is strange, miserable, non-linear and lugubrious. David the lip reader moves about this dream-like world trying to understand what's going on.

We are watching the last days of a dying family and trying to figure out what, why and who but no answers are given. This is the point of the play: Lippy isn't a nicely wrapped-up story with an obvious arc, instead it leaves us to endure this world and suffer along with the women. It's part installation and part meta-theatre with strong focused performances from Joanna Banks, Caitríona Ní Mhurchú, Liv O’Donoghue and Eileen Walsh as the women in the house.

Some audience members left having absorbed the journey open-hearted, others were baffled and a few slept through the whole thing. With this division in mind, we recommend you challenge yourself to see how you'll respond to this avant garde experiment.

By Stephen H

Lippy is on at The Young Vic until 14 March 2015. Tickets £10-19.50. Londonist saw this play on a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 27 February 2015