Two fools in a neutral space inevitably conjure up the memory of Vladimir and Estragon, the heroes of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Didi and Gogo are so stuck in their loop waiting for Godot, that they do nearly the same thing in the second act. In Bernardo Cubría’s new play, The Giant Void in My Soul, two characters, Fool 1 (Karla Mosley) and Fool 2 (Kim Hamilton), do not wait; they seek. They are neither male nor female. They are human and they are quite clearly clowns, and in the jovial nature of clowns they display physical agility and a great affection for each other. They are true buds. As they inhabit their space, they seek to discover words and ideas that are a hundred per cent original. They consistently fail. But then they peer under a piece of red cloth and discover the great, disturbing, terrifying Void.
The consciousness of the void has been around since the dawn of time. The void is what exists or doesn’t exist before birth and after death. The void is time. Science has shown us the vastness of the universe, a void that impresses upon us an insignificance that is beyond galactic. It is universal and expanding, the over-contemplation of which should have a posted sign reading, “This Way Madness Lies.”
But wait! This show has clowns. It is funny, until it is not. It is Brechtian and presentational. It has an act curtain stretched across a space we might as well call a proscenium that boasts the words, “If you see them, they see you.” Fools 1 and 2 seek for answers in a bar where a surly clown bartender (Claudia Doumit) sneers at their naiveté. A drunk clown (Liza Fernandez) steers them to a drink sure to obliterate their anxiety, a quaff called “Fuckitall.”
Their quest has familiar elements. In a search for enlightenment, the Fools encounter a clown guru (Ms. Doumit) who answers their questions with questions and then takes all their money as a silent assistant (Ms. Fernandez) stands by miming in emotion. Eventually the two friends succumb to the universal exigencies of every day life, the bond-breaking events of other partners, children, and the grind of existence.
This show shines with brilliance. Mr. Cubría’s script is lean, precise and filled with originality in concept and language. The cast, under the excellent direction and choreography of Felix Solis, enliven their performance with the extraordinary physical energy and prowess of circus clowns. The creative team includes Mark Kanieff (Scenic Design), Lauren Wemischner (Lighting Design), Mischa Stanton (Sound Design), Sami Rattner (Costume Design), and Arian Saleh (Composer). Jenny Park calls the cues with authority.
Ammunition Theatre Company’s The Giant Void in My Soul, produced by Michael Feldman, plays 8pm Fridays & Saturdays, and 7pm on Sundays through June 3 at The Pico, located at 10508 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles.