About ten days ago or so, I was in Rome. Twenty years ago I had visited the city for the first time &, being a busker, I was both amazed & delighted to find myself the benficiary of the hospitality of the Forte Prenestino. This old Italian military base was taken over by the avant-garde youth of Rome three decades ago, & has grown from strenth to strength. I always love to go back, feed myself on the cheap but tasty vegan fare & see what arts are on offer. On the occasion of my most recent visit – with my brother-in-law & occasional Mumbler in tow – I had the good fortune to witness an unusual, yet addictive piece of European theatre.
Its name is Orange Double, the duo of which are two flamboyant female actresses – AudeRrose and Nikky – as moody as the Papin sisters of Mans, who skittle about stage to the eerie accompaniment of strange & surreal sounds bellowing & willowing from gonzo instruments. Some they produce themselves, but the majority come from the arcane musicianship of the gentleman that completes the Teatro Forte! troupe. Other important ingredients of Orange Double include the kaleidoscopic, petri-dish visualities either projected from the front of the stage, or onto a sheet from behind; & the suitcase full of contraptions which are regularly shaken into the action.
During this swirl of shapes, sounds, shades, colours & monolithic movement, I found it all rather David Lynch really – a wonder without words that has you completely hooked from the off like a fascinated toddler, tho’ it is very much a case of choose your own narrative. For a good, good while we are just floating in the cosmic bubble of Orange Double‘s dreamscape, but then somehow they manage to up the tempo, change costumes, slide onto a chaise lounge & provide a suitable ending. After tripping out for a good half an hour down the K-Hole that is Double Trouble, I wasn’t expecting such a lift at all – but it was great, & a perfect way to conclude this whirlwind ride where sound & movement are synergised without any seeming effort, creating audiovisual theatre at its very, very best.