Inkling, directed by Ann-Marie Biagioni and Bronya Doyle, is Floor Work’s debut production, and what an exciting debut indeed!
The piece is free of dialogue, relying predominantly on the cast’s physical work and the use of live music as story-telling devices. Inspired by Patrick Hamilton’s Gaslight, the work delves into the concept of gaslighting via a cast of characters. Each character is defined by a singular characteristic, for example, ‘dopey’ or ‘cautious’.
The whole ensemble works brilliantly together, with a remarkable sense of timing and synchronicity of movement. Ashyr Mason-Kaine, Euna Marie Catampongan and Sabina Geradi’s performances are especially striking as they commit wholeheartedly to their characters for the duration of the show, contorting their faces and limbs into impossible shapes.
The use of live music by musician John O’Beirne in this work is exquisite. At times the music provides the audience with a sense of rhythm and flow to the action on stage, other times adding to the sense of discomfort and anxiety present in the work.
This is possibly the first show I’ve ever experienced where I find that the access measures – closed captioning, in this instance – don’t just make the show accessible for those hard of hearing. In this instance they also enhance the whole audience’s experience of the show. I gain a clearer understanding of the characters, even just their role titles, as well as the work as a whole thanks to the captions above the stage.
Throughout the show, each character approaches the box of ink sitting at the front of the stage and interacts with it. I do wish for a greater sense of clarity around the meaning of the ink within the work, or at least to see other ways in which the ink might have been used, as it’s such an interesting and unusual medium to work with.
Upon leaving the theatre I find myself with a never-ending stream of questions and an overarching sense of unease. The world of Inkling is brilliantly immersive, and whilst I am not entirely sure how to think or feel following this work, I am certainly intrigued and excited to see what else Floor Work has in store for the future.