THEATER REVIEW

The Bee: By Hideki Noda and Colin Teevan, Directed by Hideki Noda, Israel Festival, May 31.

By HELEN KAYE
June 5, 2013 22:32
1 minute read.
The Bee

The bee play 370. (photo credit: Courtesy PR)

 
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It’s overlong. It’s repetitive. It’s like a flashback to 70s theater, yet by the end The Bee has sucked you into its dark vision and together with its hero, you despair.

On his way home from work, salaryman Ido (Kathryn Hunter) is besieged by a rapacious press. They want his reaction, his comments. To what? Ogoro, (Glenn Pritchard) an escaped convict, has taken his wife and child hostage.

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Ido is rational, civilized. There will be a solution. He will cooperate with the police inspector (Marcello Magni), speak with the criminal, with his wife (Hideki Noda) whose son (Pritchard) is the same age as his own, and has a birthday on the same day.

But nothing goes according to plan and when he takes Ogoro’s wife and son hostage, Ido – “I have no talent for being a victim” – he initiates an increasingly brutal downward spiral.

The Bee, first presented in 2006, demonstrates how easily savagery strips the veneer off civilization.

Set against a backdrop of paper – so easily torn – The Bee is visually and physically imaginative and powerful. Elastic cords are mikes, or barriers. Straws are chopped fingers.

Shadows menace. There’s sly, dry humor as well as horror. The actors’ subtle, wondrous performance takes us with them and when, to the haunting music of the humming chorus from Madama Butterfly that becomes the shrilling discordance of a swarm of maddened shadowbees, it ends in chaos, The Bee has us in thrall.

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