Thoroughly absorbing and compellingly grotesque, Al Seed’s new movement-based solo show seeks to challenge audiences with a physical exploration of the aftermath of violence. Oog is intended to be a companion-piece to The Factory which was performed from 2005-2008, and had a reputation for being decidedly uncomfortable to watch. In this sequel, Seed portrays a character coming to terms with the end of a war from a locked cellar, but more than that is up to personal interpretation.
The title, combined with the post-apocalyptic set, calls up images of a futuristic world reduced to primal caveman instincts. Accompanied by an aggressive electronic soundtrack, you watch a creature resembling an old-fashioned clown dipped in a pool of mud come to life on stage. He is a flickering embodiment of familiar emotions; our anxiety, insecurity, happiness, anger and tension. With horrifying skill he gives a crystal clear image of what it might be like inside the mind of someone who has just survived an epic war and is frightened to step outside.
Seed’s performance draws on traditions of clowning, mime and dance to put forward a simple narrative that is more about character than plot. His ability to completely inhabit his body as it becomes a tool of pure expression enables him to deliver an hour of absolutely engrossing and highly unpleasant physical theatre.