This week sees the re-run of an updated ‘Mirror Mirror‘ at The Pentameters Theatre,premiered in 2008, now further extended for another two weeks. So what’s all the fussabout? Léonie, the sequined doyenne of Pentameters, welcomes the audience with acolourful introduction to 1960s London – the bedsits, pub culture, lost souls: nourished withpoetry and peppered with art. She portrays Robert Calvert as a gifted poet, inventiveplaywright and personal friend; as well, of course, as one-time frontman of the spacerockband Hawkwind.
And with a flourish of her gloved hand, the play begins.It’s a brilliant and simple concept. Through a two-way mirror the audience looks in at thefuture, or Robert Calvert’s 1979 version of the future; while simultaneously the playerspeer out for approval.
Eleanor (Eva Gray) instantly engages the audience in her world, asshe glides around the front room of her glamorous apartment, preparing for a party. Herpreening and pouting in front of her ‘intelligent’ mirror and grimaces when she seeswrinkles and sags, make thrilled voyeurs of her audience. Her mirror is supposed to reflecthow her husband sees her – but surely there must be a technical fault?A thoughtful set and careful direction make the small theatre space seem large, creatingthe scene of a well-to-do airy apartment with ease.
Electronic music is one of thehighlights, used not only to set the scene but also as a descriptor of mood and even attimes to develop the plot in its own right.
There is a great dynamic between the two actorsand they deliver slick dialogue with plenty of verbal and non-verbal jokes. There’s time toofor the odd blast of poetry, delivered in transcendent flashes of strobe lighting, which brilliantly picks out the whites of costume and set, by the Mirror Technician (MarkDonahue).
One of the themes of ‘Mirror Mirror‘ is how other peoples’ feedback informs how you seeyourself. According to Eleanor, of course it does and why shouldn’t it? A ‘neutral’ reflectionis terribly boring, after all. In fact she appears, despite the metallic new-age decor aroundher, to live in a rather dated social construct, where her chief role in life is to be foundattractive.
Calvert’s wry interpretation of the future suggests that social order and humancharacter are far less changeable than technologies and fashion. His prophecy, discoveredafter decades in a tumble-down-shed: look into a mirror to view our own future.All said, ‘Mirror Mirror’ is a great find, sympathetically brought to life by Léonie Scott-Matthews and crew. If you’re already a regular at Pentameters you’ll have seen it by now -if not, this is the perfect introduction to an exciting venue.