Definitely something to save to your calendar. Get ready – another brilliant performance by TFTV is about to test the boundaries of your understanding. La Dispute is a comedy by Marivaux, written in the eighteenth century. It is about four nineteen-year-old orphans who are brought up away from the outside world, and have no human contact other than that from their guardians. It is set up as an experiment to see if men or women are more faithful naturally.
Movement director Amy Warren says “it’s a story about discoveries”. The production plays on themes of nature and nurture, animalism and subtexts. The orphans are released into a forest, discovering human experiences for the first time.
I witnessed one scene where Églé, played by Leigh Douglas, discovers her reflection for the first time with the aid of Carise played by Claire Duffy. The atmosphere of discovery and adventure is evident with the way the actors hold themselves and the music that plays in the background. Her character can be animalistic and childlike, at least before her maturation, and she says everything out loud. “You can kind of see their ladder of thought,” said director Rosie O’Sullivan.
As they come across new discoveries, they find it difficult to vocalise their experiences because they have a very limited concept (let alone vocabulary) of gender, meaning that Églé doesn’t associate herself as similar to Carise even though both are female. La Dispute emphasizes the trials and tribulations of new experiences as adults learn things that seem to be the stuff of child’s play.
The script was fairly simple, therefore the cast have had to fill in the gaps, making the production a more creative and fun experience. La Dispute is a comedy with sinister undertones aroused by modern connotations of scientific experimentation. After all, the notion of four orphans brought up in complete isolation naturally suggests something rotten is at play.
So if you’re looking for something unique about discoveries, gender and classic weird adventures in a forest, make sure you book to see La Dispute ASAP!
Performed as a double bill 5th-7th March, 7.30pm at the Scenic Stage Theatre, YO10 5GB.
Tickets £6/£8. store.york.ac.uk
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