Most of my reviews found here are about books and movies, but occasionally I run across something else that compels me to tell others about it and share whatever insight I may have. I’m talking about Synetic Theater‘s current show King Arthur.
Simply put, it’s one of the most incredible shows I’ve ever seen. …and it taught me a lot about filmmaking (more about that below).
For starters, Synetic is a “physical theater,” and while I don’t know exactly what that means it’s quite clear that this is not theater as you typically know it. In the case of King Arthur, there is not a single word spoken in the entire show. It’s a dramatic visual experience unlike anything I’ve seen before. … Come to think of it, most of the mind-blowing performances I’ve seen never say a word –anybody seen Cirque du Soleil or Stomp?
Since there are no words, they have to rely on strong visuals and creative storytelling to get the message across. They definitely employed some tricks that are amazingly simple, yet unfamiliar to most theater goers.
The actors themselves probably have substantially different resumes than your average Broadway star. A pretty face and a great accent aren’t good enough here. These people have to be in mad physical shape! I asked a couple of them after the show if they had dance backgrounds or what, and one of the co-stars simply said, “football.” It’s a physically demanding show and they make it look easy.
Oh! and did I mention that the whole show is performed on a water stage?! As if lights, sound, choreographed dancing and fighting weren’t enough, they do it all ankle deep water. It’s a remarkably unique experience, and it marks the first time that a show has engaged my sense of touch. For those like Lacey and I who sat in the splash zone, you’ll want to bring a poncho. …for realz.
Lastly, I found myself wishing I knew more about King Arthur legends. I feel like I would have appreciated the show more and would have likely noticed more subtleties in the plot.
Anyway, enough talking; check out the trailer and then do yourself a favor and go see one of the last four shows before it’s too late.
P.S. I’ve included my observations about the show below. I would recommend that you go see it before reading any further. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for you. Continue reading