"The work remains monotonal and little is revealed about the subject matter it is attempting to reflect upon."
The Experiment is a monodrama based on Mark Ravenhill's 20-minute monologue from 2009 of the same name. Here, the monologue performed by guitarist Mauricio Carrasco is stretched over 60 minutes as it is fragmented by sections of experimental guitar composed by David Chisholm and audio-visual projections designed by Matthew Gingold. The work aspires towards a poetic reflection on utilitarian ethics. What would you sacrifice for the greater good? The life of a child? The narrator is directly confronted with these questions when his own child is experimented upon. But his mind is not to be trusted as memory becomes slippery and identity fluid.
The monologue is performed in a committed monotonous drone, a deliberate choice as if to alienate us further from the identity of the narrator or the trustworthiness of his memory. However, this also leaches whatever tension that may have existed in the original text. The guitars are set up in contraptions as if they were the brutalised subjects of the experiments. Carrasco makes them screech and scream in cruel, discordant tones. However, the music is more tediously scientific than particularly discomforting. Even as The Experiment moves between various modes of performance, the work remains monotonal and little is revealed about the subject matter it is attempting to reflect upon.