Watching Flying Solo

The Contact Theatre Flying Solo Festival 2015 has been superb and has showcased diverse and challenging performances.  Ester Natzijl’s Watching continued to impress.

Physical theatre offers another dimension to what most would regard as ‘theatre’.  Stripped of words, normally without set, the performance relies on movement and emotion, and often the clever use of sound.  So it is with Watching.  Ester Natzijl performs with a life size foam puppet, choreographed so well that after a while it seems that the puppet is alive and Ester is the puppet.  Sound complements the performance perfectly, initially a mix of medical and industrial, developing over the piece to orchestral.

What is so impressive is the way that Ester creates the movement of the puppet in tune with her own movements.  For a long time the pace is slow, they seem to circle each other and try to find their way.  Then the piece builds and becomes more physical, faster, more aggressive, technically amazing.  At one point the puppet seems to be the only one alive.  This is a wonderful engaging piece.

Physical theatre as an art form is seriously underrated, but this is the sort of performance that might just convert you to its merits.

Watch the teaser video here.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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