REVIEW: The Hunchback Variations

This condensed version does less resonating than repeating.

By David Berry

Staged as a series of panel discussions explaining the failure of collaborators Ludwig Von Beethoven (Ian Leung) and Quasimodo (Dave Clarke) to create a famously elusive sound from the stage directions of The Cherry Orchard, this meta rumination on failure, art, and the ineffable suffers some from a lack of, well, variation. Settling rather quickly into an interplay between the pompous emptiness of Beethoven and the tortured lyricism of the hunchback, it never really finds another note, and even in this condensed version does less resonating than repeating.

The actors, at least, are very game, and if you can lock into its droll discourse, the returns are sure to be less diminishing. But if the premise of two deaf artists picking apart some admittedly poetic theatre trivia doesn’t immediately grab you as deliciously, inexhaustibly arch, a dozen extra nudges in the ribs aren’t likely to convince you otherwise.


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