Do you believe in reincarnation and life everlasting? Kit & Kes have been in a cycle of rebirth for 10,000 years. What started off good, quickly goes wrong, yet still the cycle continues. Is there escape? Those are the questions Immolation asks.
Should you see it?
Immolation starts off as an interesting concept. A murder-suicide in our world, created by thousands of years of tension in the spirit world, bring Kit & Kes, two intertwined souls into the in-between, either waiting for rebirth into our world or eternal death. Yet through their mutual loathing of one another they may end up immolated on a pier of their own construction.
That’s about where the interesting concept ends. Once Kit & Kes enter the ‘spirit world’ their characters become very 2-dimensional and spend a lot of times talking in circles around philosophical dogma and twaddle to try and justify their existence. The exchanges between the two on stage, played by Caitlin Corbett and William Beddoe, need a little more polishing as well as they come across slightly wooden and lacking in chemistry at times. Corbett has a tendency to rush through her monologues at an ever alarming pace that I honestly feel like I missed a huge chunk of what was being said.
This show is full of twists and turns, but not necessarily in a good way. While the ending is strongly foreshadowed from the beginning of the show, the journey to the end has many bumps along the road, but usually those bumps consist of plot holes, uneven timelines and a lot of cyclical yelling of nonsense, so not really the twists and turns one would expect.
The 2-dimensional characters are evidenced as they only manage to project two different emotions: pure and utter rage, which quite often comes from Corbett, who spends a lot of this show stomping around the stage screaming and yelling, and a less intense level of disdain, often from Beddoe who takes his time and almost too slowly reveals his motivations. Despite these characteristics both Corbett and Beddoe, chemistry issues aside, do command a strong presence when they own the stage. They are both strong actors that just didn’t seem to mesh well with the content.
Overall the content of the play comes across as assholes being assholes to assholes for reasons that only assholes would understand and vice versa. Immolation comes across as convoluted, way too complicated and slightly pretentious.
What did you think of Immolation? Agree or Disagree I would love to hear your thoughts. Join the discussion and tell me what you thought in the comments below.