Absolut Fringe 2012: Souvenir

'Souvenir' by Bush Moukarzel as part of Absolut Fringe 2012

'Souvenir' by Bush Moukarzel as part of Absolut Fringe 2012

It’s difficult not to watch Bush Moukarzel madcap homage to Proust’s A la recherché du temps perdu without wondering what the writer and hypochondriac would have made of it all if he could watch it from his bedside, nibbling his madeleine cakes. One assumes it would have triggered some sort of mirthful childhood memory. In Souvenir, Moukarzel transposes Proust’s preoccupations – the elusive power of memory, the strange sway of time, the vagaries of desire  - onto himself in a cluttered, freewheeling din that’s held together mostly by his magnetic presence.

We enter the theatre to find him, back turned, ascending a treadmill, with cardboard boxes of props scattered everywhere, and so begins a hilarious hour-long negotiation with Proust. It’s nearly a century since A la recherché du temps perdu was published and the occasional Pan Pan contributor seems desperate to find some sort of contemporary resonance for the oft-mentioned, but rarely read text, whether its interlacing line readings with excerpts from 50 Shades Of Grey or staging his pursuit of Albertine at a nightclub playing Beyonce. Director Brian Kidd helps to keep a sense of coherence and even manages to get Moukarzel inside a figurative hourglass that rains real sand by the performance’s end. Fittingly, Souvenir seemed to end too soon, and I found myself wanting more ‘show-off’ moments, like the harmonium rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’

Star rating ★★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Absolut Fringe 2012: Souvenir by Bush Moukarzel

19-22 Sept 2012

Produced by Bush Moukarzel
In The New Theatre