By Mark Bolsover
Young company Greenlight Theatre present an innovative and fascinating concept. In Seeing Double: Vision, in the surroundings of a small, sparse space a theatrical ensemble, led by director Julio Buenaventura, struggle to cobble together a show unaware that they are being watched from a nearby and near identical space (in the ‘Hut’ venue) by their production team, in Vision’s sister show, Seeing Double: Figures.
Though the concept of the play’s being watched from outside, and of the theatrical space doubling as a theatrical space might be suggestive of a somewhat poe-faced and cerebral piece, it is used to great effect in Vision’s surprisingly physical parody of the creative process, avant garde theatre and of the growing trend towards commercial theatres producing e-production diaries and blogs. Though some of the dialogue exchanges and jokes are rather obvious, nevertheless the script provides excellent and thoroughly enjoyable mockery of the pretentious, naval-gazing public masturbation that these phenomena tend to give rise to. The writing is carried well by the energy, pacing and comic timing of the cast.
As is to be expected of a particularly physical farce (drawing in particular on the Vaudevillian tradition), there is not much here in the way of character or relationship development. However, from the strangely poetic opening scene, replete with huge black dildos, the narrative develops well, incorporating a crude but amusing and effective device for signposting its shifts in time.
Though the company could have done with more room, especially for the more physical elements of the show, the production makes good use of the limited space, props and resources at its disposal. The concept of the underlying link between the two shows develops well, especially towards the conclusion of the play, and it is for the conception and execution of this that Greenlight are particularly to be praised. Vision is a cleverly conceived and executed comedy from a new, young and promising company.