I’ve just come away from KAMP by Hotel Modern feeling both disturbed and in awe. One of the most innovative shows I’ve seen, the performance uses film, puppetry, lighting and sound to create a harrowingly honest portrayal of the atrocities in Auschwitz.
This is an important production which emanates a sense of unease from the moment you enter. Faced with a replica of the concentration camp, complete with rows of disfigured, torture-stricken puppets and an eerie soundtrack, you immediately feel uncomfortable.
Depicting a day inside Auschwitz, memorable and incredibly disturbing scenes are laid bare for the audience to witness, including arrival by train, hangings, loading toxic substances into gas chambers, attempted escape, meal times and officer parties.
Cleverly manoeuvred by three talented puppeteers, the subtle juxtaposition of events and intelligent set depict the passing of time, portraying a bleakness, desperation and loss of hope that is more than a little unsettling.
Shot from an array of angles and perspectives, the power of KAMP is in the detail. Simple images such as a child’s piggy bank amid decaying belongings, enlarged on a sepia screen, say more than any dialogue. Honest but never didactic, the wordlessness creates an emotive starkness as the audience takes on the role of witness.
KAMP is an intricately planned production which covers a very important and delicate topic in a new and startling way. I have a feeling the images will stay with me for a long time.
Go if: you want to see groundbreaking theatre, covering one of the most sensitive and important events of all time, using an unusual yet effective approach.
Elizabeth rose Murray - Festival Blogger