Review: Loki

Emily Hennessey

THE retelling of the Norse myth of the creation of the world and it’s eventual destruction, seemed somewhat apt at this strange time and it was inevitable that as it reached its climax you began to wonder if somewhere out in the darkest regions of the world Loki was already screaming.

The final battle, Ragnarok, will come when the final drop of the snake’s venom falls into his eye and he breaks free of torment and is able to wreak vengeance on the world... and at times this all began to sound worryingly familiar. This was an absolutely spell-binding piece of virtual storytelling, switching between visuals of icy landscapes to lush countryside and then to tightly focussed black and white shots of the storyteller, thereby increasing the sense of claustrophobia and impending doom.

The cinematic elements of this piece were outstanding and when coupled with the poetic elements of the language used to tell the story the event became totally hypnotic.

Emily Hennessey is a superb performer, strongly physical in her delivery and yet delivered in an intelligent, thought provoking style in this powerfully structured piece.

That this is not going to be a totally comfortable story is obvious from the outset with the assertion that it is a story about consequences and that each action has a consequence, which then triggers the next action and so forth to the final and only possible conclusion.

Having created a perfect world for themselves the Gods then find that the problem with their lovely world is that it becomes boring. Odin’s invitation to Loki to join them certainly means that life is less predictable but it also makes everyone more aware of the flaws in each other and in themselves. He brings change, and with change comes destruction and fear.

Loki is the ultimate trickster and bringer of chaos, introducing nightmares and fear into their perfection and ultimately releasing a power which leads to the death of the much loved god of light.

From that moment onwards he too is doomed as he chased and caught and suspended in a state of torment. His escape signals the end of days and this section of the performance was particularly dramatic in its presentation, leaving the viewer in suspense in darkness before the revelation that the cycle will begin again and that hope will be reborn and yet within this rebirth there is still the sense that something is missing and there is the realisation that this perfect world too will eventually invite in chaos and the cycle will continue.

In the bleak landscape of the north there is always the sense that somewhere Loki is already screaming and the end will be unleashed.

Gill O’Donnell