She is on a boat in the middle of a still and quiet lake, or maybe it is just his imagination, his definition of her, hovering around in the middle of a dead relationship.
Post-Mortem, by writer and performer Iskandar R.Sharazuddin, explores the story of two ex-lovers Nancy and Alex, played by Essie Barrow and Sharazuddin. When the two meet unexpectedly at their best friends’ wedding, they have no choice but to dive back into and confront their past. Though their love was fractured by the thunder of hate, there is still chemistry between them and a residual magnetism.
Their teenage relationship blossomed whilst dissecting a pig heart in biology class, a metaphor for the death of their relationship and their current situation. Now they are trapped in the rhythms and rituals of wedding, together dissecting the fabric of their young love, scrutinising dishonesty on both sides to untangle the right and wrongs of their untold secrets.
The narrative swings between past and present to expand the back story and the characters’ hidden feelings and thoughts, revealed through dialogues and direct speech. The bitter reality of hard issues between the couple is thrown into light relief by comic self-disclosures which successfully garner broad smiles and loud laughs. Where words are incapable of expressing deep human feelings at some certain moments, gestures and expressions hint at them. Post-Mortem deploys physical theatre and dance to explore Nancy and Alex’s mysteries.
The performance accentuates the contrasts between the ex-lovers: they belong to different religions, different cultures, different lifestyles and also hold different attitudes towards life. And yet they bond deeply over their shared feelings of love.
In spite of the pain wrenching their hearts, the characters try to live a good life. They act as they are expected to. Post-Mortem provides us with a portrait of modern love – a predicament still appealing enough to give it a try.