Perhaps it would be most informative simply to list some of the objects still visible on the stage at the play’s conclusion, once the actors and audience have departed: a wooden cabinet, its glass doors open; a wheeled table; a glass of milk, a pitcher; long, shiny streamers covering almost everything; a broken couch; a radio; a mic stand and microphone; a lot of potted plants; desk lamps; rugs; a combination karaoke machine and television; a wicker chair; popped balloons; unpopped balloons; a fake cake; masks.
In its exploration of violence in Colombia, centered mostly on Pablo Escobar and the drug trade, Los Incontados experiments with a huge variety of sounds and images. The play cycles through a series of “triptychs,” each set up like a diorama, with actors drifting in and out of tableaux: first, a living room; then the back wall opens to reveal a debaucherous party, the Día de los Santos Inocentes; then the back wall opens yet again to reveal a wooded area. Within and among these layers are others – a small curtain concealing and then revealing a musician; a screen with projections.
The triptych from the start is already a tetraptych: downstage a massive glass wall separates stage from audience (when the play ends, the lighting will briefly shift to turn this glass into a mirror, showing the audience the image of itself, applauding). There is broadcast sampling, marching-band-style music played by a family, karaoke, traditional music, rap, a lilting spoken-word piece about cocaine. There is a magician, a storyteller, a Lynchian dream sequence about illegal “soap,” archival footage. There is a fog machine. Above all, the effect is one of overwhelming visual and auditory saturation, and by the play’s conclusion, against all logic, one suspects the stage really might recede infinitely, a background with infinite regress.
Annelyse for DRAFF