Rio Saki has a pace of fast acceleration, much like the deadline of the comet that is about to smash into earth.
It is a work of formidable energy and, despite the looming death of not only our characters but also the world’s population, it has little time for despair. Regret perhaps, but finally it is a song of hope in the face of the biggest wall of all. It is also an elegy to love, loves lost, and love found possibly too late. But is that possible? Surely, there is always time enough for love, however short.
It is also a comment on greed and betrayal and the desperate need to feel belonging and identity in the face of annihilation of that very quality.
It is a desperate clutch at a straw, any straw and consequently at times anarchically funny as people have the last chance to become who they are or maybe have always wished to be.
It is fluid and full of restless motion. It is driven by character and the ticking clock.
There is little room for stop/start scenes and black-out it is continuous free-fall.
There is a permanent “humm” of ambience of the world outside – of sirens and screams, of shouts and manic laughter.
It is a multi-tiered/scaffold set of four areas with two common areas that are a park and a bar. It would be good to have trees upstage – the branches at times as capillaries wrapped around a heart that is about to burst.
At the conclusion of the play, as the world breaks, the voices combine in a chorale that is a small hymn of the global anthem crashing to the skies.
Almost operatic of sweep, Rio Saki has its own cracked classical score – a fused rock madness of counter tenors and screaming black chords.
Its light is obscure and shadows – pin spots and isolated body parts. Projections of the world outside and the curious peace of the verdant park, oblivious to the destruction ahead. It has gold tones, as flesh is considered for the final time and what it means to have skin that breathes…it is beautiful to look at and as Louis dies in the pool of blood that flows from his mouth he becomes almost a beautiful dark angel – cold waxen and utterly beyond control.
Visually, Rio Saki is a glorious painting by Goya. Visceral and out of control – yet curiously ordered as ritual becomes the only way to put a stamp of normality on the impossibility of facing the unfaceable in three days time.