The postcard that serves as the program for Uncertain Ground describes the piece as having been conceived through improvisation between Slovakian actors Brano Mosny and Peter Tilajcik, molded by director Blaho Uhlar and filtered through various theatrical techniques—resulting in “what seems like poor theatre orgies on the border of vaudeville and avantgarde.” An actual orgy would have been easier to watch and understand. Uncertain Ground is a collection of vignettes tied together by a theme of cruelty; the sketches, which are not particularly funny or logical, involve a good deal of shouting and cursing, and usually end well after the characters and conceits have worn out their welcome. Already injured by a wordy, literal translation, the material is further hindered by the two young actors’ clear lack of ease in English, which yields flat and self-conscious performances. It may be that this production is a poor iteration of something that plays very well in Slovakia. Here, it is effectively cruel to the audience.—Austin Ruffer
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