Everything that happens in this wonderfully quirky and raunchy production is put in the hands of fortune – meaning that the actors are also never sure which direction the show is going to take… 

La Ronde, Alex Vlahos, Amanda Wilkin, Lauren Samuels and Leemore Marrett Jr (courtesy Ray Burmiston) 11.jpg
Alex Vlahos, Amanda Wilkin, Lauren Samuels and Leemore Marrett Jr. (c) Ray Burmiston. 

The first thing that sprang to mind when hearing about this new adaptation of Le Ronde was of Goosebumps – those scary children’s stories that had a variety of endings according to which direction you chose to take the story in. Max Gill’s production has the exact same principle – only it is real life that is at the centre of proceedings.

With this new adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Reigen (the play’s German name), Max Gill has created an energetic, sharp and thought provoking production that engrosses the audience’s attention throughout.

As mentioned above, much of what happens throughout the course of the show depends on a turn of a wheel, an almost ominous presence at the back of the stage, meaning that it is difficult to predict exactly what is going to happen next.

It is a clever concept as it keeps the actors and the audience on their toes throughout, while allowing different connections and relationships between the characters to emerge that reveals how life evolves around fortune and choices – as a result it seems pointless to talk about the plot because there are many different directions that it can go from the very opening scene.

While this  concept is engaging, it can also mean that the story can lack in clarity in places that makes it a struggle to follow as the characters all interact with each other and  showcasing very different relationships. The pace and abruptness of the scenes can mean that it lacks slightly in depth and not giving the actors enough time to develop characters.

But there is still some strong performances to be enjoyed. In particular Lauren Samuels, who delivers a vibrant performance as a variety of characters such as a sympathetic doctor having to deliver bad news or a rather arrogant actress it is a pleasure to watch her adapt to each situation. There is also great work and energy from Amanda Wilkin and Alex Vlahos who really throw themselves into the show with a great sense of comedy. It is a shame on this occasion Leemore Marrett Jr wasn’t as involved until the very end as when he was it was a charismatic performance – but that as we are constantly reminded the turn of the wheel’s fault.

Essentially it is (at times) a quite graphic look at people’s relationships and how we engage with people differently as well as the effect that these people have on our lives. It doesn’t always make sense, but it is surprisingly enjoyable to see how it all turns out.

Sexy, funny and even at times poignant La Ronde kicks off The Bunker’s new season off in style.

La Ronde continues to play at The Bunker until the 11th March. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.bunkertheatre.com/whats-on/la-ronde/about

Rating: ❤❤❤❤