Like Watching a Musician Destroy His Guitar

​Reveiw of Germinal at On the Boards by Tigerlily Cooley


From the beginning of Germinal, one can tell it's an unconventional production. The stage lights flash repeatedly into the audience, followed by a mysterious light display on stage, all narrated by bursts of nervous laughter from the audience. After the stage lights finally come fully on, one expects the actors to talk, but they can't. Rather their thoughts are projected onto the back wall of the stage, a concept which later morphs into the natural use of subtitles. Both English and French are used throughout the play, and the dialogue is sophisticated.

Watching Germinal unfold is like watching a musician destroy his guitar at the end of the show, as the actors take pickaxes to the stage and rip down the curtains. And yet, somehow in all the chaos the creators, Antoine Defoort and Halory Goerger, manage to slip in profound thoughts regarding the laws of physics, existentialism, and philosophy.

I highly recommend this production to anyone who enjoys pondering theoretical questions, has a mature sense of humor, or simply wants to experience the thrill of watching guitar amps and pine trees spontaneously burst out of the floorboards once in their life. I'm sure after the experience it'll come as no surprise that Germinal is "one of the most talked about shows on the international arts circuit."

On the Boards
September 25 - 27

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