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Hello Dali

Venue Club West @ Crowne Plaza
Address Crowne Plaza Hotel, 80 High Street
Reviewer Daniel Winterstein

Starting (where else?) at the end, Dali - played engagingly enough by ex-Dr Who Sylvester McCoy - takes us on a tour of his life. We are introduced to his painting, his love and his fetishes and phobias.

It's a highly visual play, with plenty of props, plus Dali's paintings projected as a backdrop. The structure is flat and without any dramatic tension, but the script is first rate and always interesting. McCoy entertains as Dali. Wire like moustache pointing directly up to God, he fills the stage. Unfortunately though, he has no connection with Dali's often disturbed emotional side, and so he never fully involves us. What was to Dali the stuff of life and death comes across as mere imagery.

He must have been dangerously close to madness. Dali declared that he would have nothing in common with the rest of the human race. His world was full of arbitrary meanings (e.g. crutches had an erotic charge). Delving his subconscious, he invented an intensely personal symbolism. Yet through his genius he was able to share much of it with us. Not that he cared; Dali was Dali - an over-the-top out-of-control original. Hello Dali is not a great play, but it is an excellent introduction to one of modern art's greatest figures.

© Daniel Winterstein, 18th August 2002.


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