‘There’s something about this city that doesn’t feel real, it feels like a stage set,’ a sentiment professed by The Singer (Megan O’Flynn) in Carmen Disruption, and one that should resonate with contemporary audiences. Technological advancements, hedonistic lifestyles, synthetic profiles and fabricated personas, have each become defining characteristics of the malaise of present-day culture.
Through a series of exemplary monologue performances, Carmen Disruption explores the aforementioned culture and the dislocation and alienation it can produce. The interconnectedness of the characters is left ambiguous; the strength of their affiliation can be based on the exclamation that they periodically see one another. Simultaneously, they react to, complement and weave seamlessly throughout each other’s narratives. Ingrained within each of them is a sense of incertitude as they almost frenetically power through their everyday lives, powerfully detailing every intimate thought and quandary as it arises.
Aside from the laudable performances of the cast, the accompanying musical score warrants considerable recognition. Director Michael-David McKernan’s choice of providing a live electronic score was an intrepid move, but one that irrefutably paid off. The rhythmic composition occupies a pivotal role, so much so that it takes on its own life force, almost becoming the sixth character as it informs and accentuates the actions of those centre-stage.
Overall, Carmen Disruption is raw, relevant and unpredictable, with faultless performances all round and a consummate directorial debut from Mckernan. /Stephanie Kelly