Noordung's production Supremat was taking place a few miles out from Dublin's city centre at the Helix, which was based in the Dublin City University campus and therefore attempted successfully a bus journey to the venue, helpfully alerted by the bus driver to the right stop.
The Helix is a recently built theatre venue consisting of three different types of auditoriums; Supremat would be performing in the theatre hall. The building certainly had a nice fresh and clean appearance with modern style interiors. Out in the foyer there was a bar serving and plenty of tables to sit at which was an ideal time to read through the literature on the impending Noordung performance. Since being well aware that the performance would be in Slovene it was an opportunity to get some idea about Supremat from the leaflet and it was helpful to know the general theme and the points behind the play.
We didn't wait too long before the theatre doors opened. As we entered the hall Dragan stood dressed like space age monk acknowledging each member of the audience as they entered. As they got comfortable in their seats Dragan went to the centre of the stage and told everyone to get up and follow him through a door on the stage. This idea seems to take most people by surprise including myself to some extent though I had been aware that the NSK theatre often fit the audience right in the middle of the performance. Inside we sat on wooden steps looking towards something like a cross-section of a tube, Dragan got everyone to converge towards the centre for a better view.
The set up was very interesting with the stage design looking a bit like a futuristic model of Malevich's artwork. Sections of it were lit up in vivid colour schemes adding to the intensity of the futuristic look. Peculiar props featured including a stack of what looked like bottles of cleaning fluid. Occasionally a bottle of something (probably water) was sprayed around. The actors themselves often played a predominately visual role, one actress sat with her back to the audience, a position maintained almost to the end. Actions consist of dancing, some singing and numerous symbolic actions such as playing imaginary ping-pong with bats each with a large hole. The music and sound effects were brilliant, might even be the main reason for enjoying the performance as much as we did. It contributed immensely to the overall ambience of the show.
The performance had barely started when Dragan ask everyone to leave and go back out into the theatre, where there was vodka on offer and some persuasion to drink all of it. Soon ushered back through the door for the rest of the play. As it was in Slovene it was mainly a case of watching action, enjoying the music and simply sensing what was going on. The dialogue did actually have some effect even although not really understood, it added to the hypnotic effect that the whole performance was generating, and in any case they often delivered a lot strange non words and other noises. The action in itself was engrossing while being a little bizarre but with little personal experience of alternative dance/drama therefore devoid with much if anything to compared it with. Though have seen a couple of Michael Clark productions many years earlier and in comparison Noordung appears much more surreal. Shortly before the end there was another round of vodka for the audience this time it was simply handed out where we were sitting.
When the performance came to an end the audience enthusiastically applauded and it was truly an enthralling experience and turned out to be a real highlight of NSK Dublin. Back out in the foyer a beautiful Noordung book was available for sale although it was truly a piece of art in its own right the rather big downside was the cost at 100 Euros. While bypassing the opportunity myself, surprisingly or not they did actually sell though it was quite painful process for some of the buyers. Dragan met with some of the audience in the foyer shortly after the show, enthusiastically stamping a few NSK passports in the process. He was quite a friendly jovial character, though it was highly amusing to hear him telling someone who was digging frantically to find enough money to buy the book that he wished he could give him the book for free.