Written and performed by Artifex Theatre Company
Flash Theatre Festival 2016
Do you read, write, paint, perform or enjoy watching others and enjoy their work? Can you imagine these pleasures being taken away from you? Can you imagine that our world has decreed that all of the creative processes, perpetrated by the right hand side of the brain are to be kept hidden, under control, under lock and key? Can you imagine that even if you are out with friends, you are unable to even discuss these subject for fear of incarceration? In Mortem Artis, this is the world that we are plunged into in the confined cell like space of the basement.
The creator of Mortem Artis, Amber Mae, is the girl subject to all of these things and the play is the story of her fight to stand against the new corporation for her right to enjoy the art that is in her and that needs to be expressed for her soul to flourish.
It is obvious to anyone with eyes to see that this was not a play to be simply performed, but something that is deep with Amber Mae’s very being. Her eyes sparkle and her face lights up as she sits on the floor and draws or paints. No, this in not just a play for her dissertation but a heartfelt portrayal of her worries and fears for the future of the arts in this country of ours. The sparkle and the lights are soon extinguished by the removal of all of her books, her paints and finally the closure of the pirate radio station that sustained her for one hour ever night. Even her colourful clothes are exchanged for gray ones, almost a prison garb and all of this “for her own comfort”.
Amber is extraordinary as an actress and we delighted in her joy, as she danced like no one was watching, sung like no one was listening. Moments later we cared for her so much as she was locked up, her individuality stripped from her, forced to choose between her art and permanent removal from society.
Mortem Artis is a well written, intelligent and insightful work and it was only right that its author and owner, Amber was allowed to express her feelings through her considerable acting talents. Having seen her in two other roles Amber has always had great presence but this play has elevated her in my estimation and is a great showcase for her. I hope she finds a way to bring this to a wider audience in the future.
A quick word regarding the tech associated with the show. Faultless, perfectly thought out, well rehearsed and executed.