JUNK ENSEMBLE
THE IRISH TIMES

Soldier Still ★★★★

Project Arts Centre

Michael Seaver

10 September 2017

Military life may mirror civilian life in its range of activities – from medicine to logistics – but it is unique in codifying violence and its application though barrel-chested language and hyper-masculine ideals. Soldier Still opens with security analyst and former soldier Tom Clonan donning his uniform, a metaphoric cover for acts of brutality antithetical to the human condition. Slowly the shield crumbles, as he witnesses violence and trauma spoken and danced by Lucia Kickham, Julie Koenig, Geir Hytten and Fernando Balsera Pita in a succession of solos, duets, and trios and quartets.

All are held in the grip of previous traumas, trapped by the past and isolated from the present. This is Junk Ensemble’s most visually focused work to date, delivered with the coldness and immediacy of a report. In the end, Clonan performs a gestural solo, which although missing the visceral punch of earlier movement, depicts a haunted and hollowed out loneliness.