By Sandile Dudu Saki
“The imaginary is what tends to become real”. Surrealist Andre Breton’s words seem to ring true in The House of Cards; what is real, and how does one truly distinguish between realms.
Directed by Dion van Niekerk, the experimental one-man piece has many twists and turns in its search for meaning and truth. The performer, named in the programme as Paquot, uses artistry to relay his thoughts; he builds them up, second guesses, demolishes, and rebuilds once more. whilst building, demolishing and rebuilding. The stories are told like parables, thought-provoking and touching at times. The music demands momentous contemplation and introspection.
The narrative is affluent with poetics, philosophy and imagery. All acts are challenging and demanding. Questions such as, “Was Socrates telling the truth…?” force us into introspection, whether we like it or not. At times, the story is difficult to follow as the language becomes too unclear in its simplicity – growing more abstract as the story progresses.
Paquot keeps his energy throughout the piece. He shows concentration as he delivers monologues, and dances across stage.
Followers of Samuel Beckett will find fascination in this piece, as the writing is of the same vein – it follows like a dream. Warning, one may be thrown in the deep end with the violence in the poetics of story-telling and meaning-making. You have to experience it to know it.