Eurohouse is a masterpiece of sublety. The two performers, Frenchman Bertrand Lesca and Greek Nasi Voutsas, trace the descent of an joyous amicable relationship into a manipulative power-play between abused and abuser with an extremely light touch - to the point where some members of the audience were still laughing in the darkest moments of the play. It is a powerful piece of theatre with a point.
From the beginning, Lesca has the audience in the palm of his hand, lulling us into a sense of security with his warm delivery and charming audience interaction. We laugh along. The movement of both actors is pleasing to watch; they grace the stage and fill the room with light. Voutsas is already beginning to be sidelined by his onstage companion but we don't notice; such is the cleverness of this piece and its accurate depiction of abusive relationships. Slowly but surely the power dynamic between the two characters becomes more explicit, with the tickle tickle slap moment coming when Lesca plants a bucket at Voutsas' feet, implicitly demanding that he throw up the sweets Lesca has given him earlier. The atmosphere plummets as the audience realises that Lesca's dominance is not well-meaning but violent. And his violence does not stop there, but continues to escalate. By the end, it has completely destroyed the relationship between the two characters, and Voutsas has been abused both physically and emotionally. The implication of sexual violence felt like a step too far for me, but it certainly made the point. I was floored by the effect the sequence of events had; such was the compelling nature of the piece.
The only explicit reference to the Eurozone crisis came at the end, which worked well and reflected the gravity of the events that the piece is referring to. But what can I take away from Eurohouse? It would be possible to leave with the notion that the EU is doomed to failure, being as it is built on flawed humans and their tendency to abuse one another. Perhaps it is saying something more progressive than this though: you have to look at the way humans behave if you expect to put measures in place which are ever going to be effective in helping achieve peace and stability.
Eurohouse is full of energy and it is clever, dark and moving. If you get a chance to see it, do. It is both easy and difficult to watch in the way that theatre should be; the former in its subtle clarity, the latter in its hard-hitting observation of group behaviour and power.