Amok Productions, Earth Angel

Review in Issue 17-1 | Spring 2005

Pre-Raphaelite hair, orchids and glowing globe… on screen, a barefoot woman in white walks in the night, gliding ghost-like through the streets, trampling through flowerbeds, digging into the earth and scooping up the soil. On stage, the woman lies in bed, tossing and turning. Filmed sequences representing dream life perhaps, but as the piece develops, this simplistic division breaks down as the two worlds merge. Viewed psychologically, a meeting of conscious and unconscious states but also, artistically, a surrealist investigation of juxtaposed images. In Earth Angel we have the story of a woman’s (or perhaps Everywoman’s) obsession with soil. There is a knowing Freudian literalism in the play with imagery (such as bulbs of both sorts growing in beds of both sorts). As soil – the earth itself – is composed of the rotting bodies of plants and animals, we unsurprisingly find that birth, death and regeneration are lines of enquiry. Blood to soil to milk (white blood) is one. Earth Angel is devised and performed by Catherine Hoffmann, with music composed and played by Alfredo Genovesi. It has been a long time in development, an earlier version presented at ROAR 2002. Hoffmann is a compelling physical performer, and all the elements of the piece work in harmony – with the exception of the spoken text, much of which is self-consciously ‘poetic’. There are moments of grotesque humour (cotton-wadding babies emerging from ripped pillows; an ever-growing collection of stinky milk bottles discovered around the bed) but I would have liked more of these to give a better balance to the self-conscious ‘artiness’ of the piece.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-1
p. 29