Two (or three?) couples in a suburban London parlor are essentially a talking tableau against which language itself becomes the protagonist. Completely awash in prattle, the narrative is just barely conventional enough to explain the presence of actors, yet the characters are strangely absent.
|The Independent Players perform The Bald Soprano at the 2015 Elgin Fringe Festival.|
In our age of smartphone-powered distractions, we like to lament the loss of conversation and the intimacy it produces between people. But Soprano suggests this is not a new problem: people can converse for years and still not recognize each other—or themselves.
In the end, as the dialogue becomes even more random, structureless and repetitive, the speakers seem to form a collective mind, but it's both more and less than a consensus. Walking in circles, shouting in unison, they finally agree—on precisely nothing.
Though avant-garde theatre is one of those genres that people love to hate, it belongs in a Fringe Festival and the well-directed Players make it worth a look.