Ball at Stephen Hawking’s (Divadlo Kampa - May 28-31)
I found this show difficult and, since it is about Stephen Hawking, why should it not be? Although largely performed in Polish with English surtitles, the acting is powerful. The actor playing Hawking spends most of the show withered up in a wheelchair, his face and limbs distorted, with only his eyes conveying his emotions. The imagery is compelling as clown-like figures bob and swerve around the immobile Hawking. This is less about Hawking’s scientific work than about having a brilliant mind trapped in a dysfunctional body. The images are arresting, disturbing and unforgettable. What they mean deserves to be parsed out over a beer after the show.
I have one criticism: the subtitles were projected on a side wall and, from where I sat, were very difficult to read. Also some of the text was too large for the screen and was not up long enough to permit anyone to read it all. And the text was intriguing. That needs to be fixed.