‘… an intimate, honest, nothing like what you’d ever expect kind of play’
‘In Search Of Applause’ reminds me of a film I saw at a film festival way back in 2012. ‘In it’. the main character does the same thing every day until one day he decides to change things up. For most of the film nothing happens, yet in its repetitive nature it brings you closer to the character’s inner life. Nothing happens and yet everything happens. ‘In Search of Applause’ is a similar story, where nothing happens and yet a myriad of events are taking place simultaneously.
In fact, with its muted but cleverly thought out stylistic choices and timeless soundscape the whole production seems more of a film than a play. And yet it is a play, an intimate, honest, nothing like what you’d ever expect kind of play. Performed by Maroussia Vladi with honesty and sensitivity it seems out of place almost in British society, which makes it all the more interesting of course. It has an inherently French aesthetic, despite being set in London and yet it carries heaps of cultural references. The set and costume design by Emily Megsson is in perfect tune with Robinson’s Senpauroca’s original musical score.
‘In Search of Applause’ is storytelling at its finest, without being too explicit it captivates completely until you find yourself laughing at the minutest of details, such as the way an apple is cut or a carrot is eaten. It is an endless search for an opportunity, never realising that the opportunity is an outstretched hand waiting to be gripped with the ferocity of a crocodile. And just when you think you’ve nestled in comfortably, you think you know where this story is headed, it changes its pace and you follow wondering what comes next. You will laugh, you will be frustrated and you will possibly have an existential crisis. ‘In Search Of Applause’ does not put everything ‘out there on the table’ as is so often the case with Fringe theatre, it makes you work for your understanding of the play and as a result it is a breath of fresh air.
‘In Search Of Applause’ is an entirely different species from most shows you’ll find in London and one I can wholeheartedly recommend.
In search of Applause is written and performed by Maroussia Vladi and directed by Andrew Hurst. It is on at The Old Red Lion Theatre from 12th of February to 2nd of March 2019,
Dísa Andersen is an Icelandic actress and writer based in London. She has been producing and creating theatre on the fringe scene since 2012. Dísa is the founder and co-owner of Frigg Theatre, a co nordic theatre company with a focus on feminist work. Her poetry collection, 365 Cups Of Tasteless Coffee, is available online, on Amazon and through disaandersen.com