Antony Neilson’s The Wonderful World Of Dissocia deals with bipolar disorder and sets the action in two sphere’s Lisa’s journey and then her hospitalization. The contrast between the two parts of the play comment on each other and create a series of layers which makes this play very powerful as well as entertaining.
Neilson’s Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness is entertaining and any alternative reading is hidden in the slapstick humour. The play is about storytelling and the theatre, and what the theatre can achieve. It was very funny and unpredictable at the same time, as well as being totally entertaining. Like Can Any Mother Help? last week there was no interval, so it takes the audience into the action and the unreality of the events. On the stage of the Courtyard Theatre a Victorian Theatre had been constructed. Making really good use of the playing space, through costumes, props and puppets, the cast of four presented three stories which were very unbelievable and presented with some very crude humour. There was a surprise ending as well.
I felt that the play was meant to be layered, but this didn’t always come across. We were given the impression that a mystery of the troupe would be revealed and is was, but it felt slightly rushed and added on at the end. The play relies too much on building narratives that are intended to make the audience gasp as the performance progresses so the audience are taken along with the surreal world presented to them, and then when the play performed by the troupe merges with the real lives of the troupe, it is difficult for the audience to make the shift.
A good evening’s entertainment without the reflection that we are presented with in The Wonderful World Of Dissocia.