El pasado es un animal grotesco (The past is a grotesque animal) is a play inspired by a series of damaged photos left in a photo lab. It details the lives of four Argentinians over the course of 10 years, from 1999 to 2009.
The set was very effective. The slowly rotating stage perfectly resembled the passing of time. It echoed the plays slow moving narrative and avoided becoming gimmicky. Stacks of boxes of photos also added to the set. They were slowly added as the play progressed
The play itself had a soft beauty to it. It was strangely funny, relying heavily on absurdism and black humor. It was very true to life. In particular the narrative of a man who finds a hand was my favourite. Starting off as quite a serious story it progressed further and further into absurdism. I found it rather strange that all the characters ended up working in the arts at some points in their lives.
It wasn’t an overly optimistic piece. It isn’t be the kind you come out of buzzing with the wonders of life. It portrayed accurately though, the meaninglessness and our constant want for something better. To make it.
The acting was wonderful and the language barrier wasn’t a problem. I did wonder though if I had missed some jokes that I might have gotten if I had spoken Spanish.
Slightly long but overall it was stirring and thought provoking. I’m kind of still in a strange trance reflecting upon my own life. I just hope I don’t find a hand.