Sleepwalk Collective's Domestica, Birmingham Repertory Theatre


Reviewer's Rating

Sleepwalk Collective’s Domestica is a hard hitting and monumentally epic take on a renegotiation with classical art. This classical art, in their own words, is ‘the greatest crime ever committed’. An exclusion of women’s playwrights, real roles and appearances form the root of their argument.

And what an argument it is. A visceral and dynamic soundtrack from writer Sammy Metcalfe does more than underscore the words of the three performers. It works wholly in cohesion, building the crescendo to near unimaginable levels.

A direct approach forces nothing but complete attention. An assertion at the start that the performers were going to ‘bore us to death’ never came in their delicate and measured portrayals.

Perhaps, though, portrayal is the wrong word as the creators of Domestica exist in a world with an unbalanced, unequal cannon which places them at the bottom. Their honest dispute does not hide, or hold its punches. It takes on history from Homer through to Snow White, with an effortless association which is haunting in its nature.

As this reaches its climax, and the lights come up, you cannot really feel anything. You have been emotionally, intellectually and viscerally assault. But if there ever is a good type of assault, it is this.