Stuart Orr @ Queens Theatre
10:30pm, Wed 1 Mar 2006
One word describes this piece best: dense.
There can be no doubt that Stuart Orr puts in an incredible performance, switching between a multitude of characters based around the deranged musings of an SS deserter in 1945-Berlin, with the Russians at the gate. He leverages a fantastic AV set, a great projection screen that he also uses for shadowy hijinks, as well as providing a sense of claustrophobic foreboding.
But parts of Telefunken are just downright confusing – the timeline drifts between decades, basing itself at the end of World War II, but also taking in the American present, media snippets being sourced from, seemingly, the entire history of television.
To be sure, this is a performance of incredible depth by Orr – but I can’t help feeling that the message is a little blunt. The anti-television, anti-propaganda ranting is rarely hidden; it’s akin to being beaten soundly about the head with it.
(You know what? I can’t really express myself properly on this one. Instead, I’ll point you to this blog post which, though they seemed to enjoy it more than I, seems to cover all the bases. It even has corrections by Orr himself.)