Infinity Pool: an extraordinary retelling
Infinity Pool, the new show from writer-performer Bea Roberts, is a modern retelling of Madame Bovary, featuring another protagonist named Emma who considers having an affair to escape the bleakness of her life. This modern Emma’s affair, however, is conducted online, with someone she’s never met.
The play replaces Flaubert’s detached portrait of Emma with a tenderer, more empathetic depiction – even though Emma, played by Roberts, never actually speaks. Dressed all in black and never lit, she’s more of a glorified stagehand. During the show, she operates numerous laptops, projectors and a VCR.
The screens, images, music clips and sound effects tell the story. Though this might sound overwhelming, the innovative visuals and sound design are engrossing. The play is also very funny. Roberts manages to lend beauty and humour to the banal actions of day-to-day life – though it is all underpinned by a great sadness. An extraordinary retelling.
Christian Butler is a writer based in London.
Infinity Pool: A Modern Retelling of Madame Bovary is at the Bedlam Theatre until 29 August.