There are shows you feel should be better then they are. A clever concept, good actors and a great venue should be a recipe for a great play but sometimes it just doesn‘t come together. It may be that the shows humour doesn‘t translate or simply that it never gels. Whatever the reason, Hundred We Are feels like it should be better than it is. The theme is interesting enough, the many lives we can live and how we choose between them, on top of that how we deal with the lives that we didn‘t live.
Looking back, what was desperately missing was some humour. There are little sequences, such as the memory of travelling the world, that had the audience in tears. Not to mention the mind numbing boredom of a preventive dentistry convention being interrupted by some adult videos.
The problem is that those scenes are surronded by such horrific, repetitive, seriousness that they drown. I wonder if scenes such as the attempted suicide were supposed to be funny, but it didn‘t come across. Perhaps the strangest decision in the entire production is the decision not to localize a joke about an unlikely train journey through Scandinavia, which was quite amusing to the three people familiar with Swedish train tracks.
Cyclical storytelling is a big part of several literary traditions, including the nordic one I assume the Swedish Khemiri works within. For whatever reason it just came across as predictable in this production. After fifteen minutes we‘d had two attempted suicides and one brushed-off marital rape. Just where do you go after that?
For all that, the actresses did a fine job, portraying a person set against herself admirably. The strongest parts of the story involved one of them acting out what was going on and the other two describing what was, maybe, actually going on. When it was confusing it was charming and engaging but it just ended up going in circles. An ambitious attempt that fell flat. 2/5
Review written by Ingimar Sverrisson.
Hundred We Are is currently showing at the Yard Theatre until Saturday 8th November. For more information on the production, visit here…