‘Both Mary and I shy away from the political, it’s very fashionable at the moment and it makes me vomit! I can’t stand being hit over the head with a message and preached at’ Sharon Enav, Lumenis Theatre Company’s forceful Artistic Director, seems clear on this point and co-founder and Literary Director Mary Mazzilli agrees ‘we want the audience to explore the pieces and think about them themselves’. The company’s aim is to take the audience out of their comfort zone and make us look at the world with fresh eyes.
In 2008 Lumenis brought Mazzilli’s challenging play ‘The Wrong Sleep’ to the Camden Fringe which tackled Muslim sexuality and family betrayal but she thinks the less ‘in-yer-face’ Les Chaises will be just as thought provoking; ‘You can be provocative with experimental styles, three pieces with three different styles, the provocative element of it is more in the style of it.’
Made up of three shorts which were inspired by the idea of ‘the chair’, Clearance, Foreplay and Attempts on a Missing Chair, Les Chaises is like a mini festival within a festival. Starting in naturalism with Clearance and concluding in the complete abstraction of Mazzilli’s delightfully surreal Attempts on a Missing Chair with Foreplay somewhere in the middle, an array of forms is certainly on offer keeping the audience well and truly on their toes and this is just the way Lumenis wants it. Enav chuckles whilst describing her mother’s strong and vocal bewilderment after seeing Attempts, saying confidently ‘If it incites a reaction, any strong reaction, even utter confusion! Then it’s succeeded’. For Lumenis it seems it is the taking up of questions, and not the answers, which really counts.