The Secret Death of Salvador Dali
Strut & Fret @ The Lunar Tent
6:00pm, Sun 24 Feb 2002
Short Review: Surreal
Woo-hoo, this was classic Fringe theatre. One enters the Lunar Tent to see an inverted dischordant violinist suspended from the roof, along with two large, white amorphous blobs (quilts? beanbags?) that, over the course of the show, represented anything from a hospital bed to Dali’s penis & moustache. Yup, this one was about as surreal as some of Dali’s paintings.
The play spans most of Dali’s life, and is played by a male and female performer who both take on new characters without warning; one scene sees them playing Dali and sister Ana Maria, and swapping characters mid-scene – a mind bending one, that. However, there is much emphasis placed on Dali’s childhood affectations, and his later sexual fixations – “blood is sweeter than honey”. And, of course, much time is spent following his relationship with model/lover/wife/keeper Gala Eluard, who exploited Dali later in life.
There’s many, many references made to his paintings – “The Lugubrious Game” came in for a good yak, and “Eggs on a Dish without the Dish” is particularly overt. Most inexplicable, however, is the huge inflated pink blob which invades the Lunar Tent and devours Dali (after he realises he has become what he once abhored – one of the putrefacto) at the end of the play – we think is was an interpretation of “The Great Masturbator”, or possibly even “Invisible Sleeping Woman, Horse, Lion”, but let’s face it – it was a huge pink blob!
Honestly, I pissed myself laughing for 15 minutes coming out of this – the pink blobby thing was such a bizarre ending to a totally obtuse play. Direction is great, music is excellent. Worth seeing, just for the arched eyebrows.