Fourth Monkey’s Genesis and Revelation: Sodom – Fourth Monkey
5th-27th August, 19:45
theSpace on Niddry Street
Fourth Monkey returns to the fringe with their Genesis and Revelation series, all based on biblical tales. Sodom is one of the five shows Fourth Monkey has to offer at the fringe, and unfortunately it fell flat.
Plunging into the Old Testament yet making it more appealing to a contemporary audience, Sodom recounts the biblical tale of the city of Sodom. The city has been subjected to a curse which causes the people of Sodom to waste away, both mentally and physically. Lot, played by Marc Benga, is the leader of the city yet fails to do anything to help his people and simply ignores his wife and locks away his two daughters, ‘one’ and ‘two’. Incest and vengeance sums up the play pretty simply and Lot eventually gets his comeuppance.
However, Ami Sayers’ script fails to communicate the story well. Most of the ensemble dialogue is spoken in unison which, quite frankly, is ridiculous and gets pretty irritating by the end. Similarly, a lot of the acting is over the top and unbelievable, and once again gets extremely annoying. Sodom also contains brief moments of physical theatre which were unnecessary and not performed particularly well either, again just over the top and out of time.
Considering the reputation of Fourth Monkey it was also surprising that they made a lot of rookie mistakes. Such as consistency in accents between actors playing the same character and twenty second scene changes in complete darkness leaving the audience to twiddle their thumbs. These seemed like very silly things to overlook on behalf of the company.
Overall I was very disappointed with Fourth Monkey’s production of Sodom considering their reputation. Over-acting, failed physical theatre and poor ensemble moments made this show almost painful to watch. In all honesty, don’t let the aesthetically pleasing costumes trick you into buying a ticket, the costumes were almost the only decent thing about this show. However, it could have been worse.