Flare (2) – Contact Theatre Triple Bill

The Tuesday evening triple bill at Contact sees a vibrant technicolour ‘Dance Peas’ sandwiched between two altogether darker but similar pieces.

‘With Force and Noise’ by Hannah Sullivan (UK) and ‘For Thine’ by Sanne Van Rijn/HKU/Johnny’s Horse employ similar concepts.  Both aim to slow down time and create silence in the first half, in order to intensify the noise/anger/abandon of the second.  Hannah does this by walking slowly forward and speaking very quietly, avoiding any noise from the many bells on her back.  The latter also walk slowly forward, then undress with tiny detail given to each movement.  There is silence and concentration from the audience.  In both pieces the subsequent outpouring of emotion is made all the more unsettling.  There is something here that Neck of the Woods could have learnt, in terms of how to create silence, and then what to do with it.

‘With Force and Noise’ is essentially a prose performance.  Hannah Sullivan delivers an unsettling and unresolved story line with good pace, and effective variation in intensity.  Her ultimate anger is heightened by the way the bells respond to her shaking body.  Powerful stuff.

‘For Thine’ incorporates eight performers who transition from the slow and minute, through prose based on TS Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’ delivered one word at a time, a rebirth of some kind, and finally a chaotic, hedonistic rampage.  Overlong in places, but fascinating nonetheless.

‘Dance Peas’ from Figs in Wigs (UK) adds colour to the evening in every way.  Each of the five performers must eat as many peas as possible within a three minute dance routine that retains the same moves but is presented differently each time.  It’s cleverly choreographed and visually over the top with bright green and blue clothing and make up; even the music is by Neon Neon.  Visually stunning, with well observed comedy and some very clever detail.

Three fascinating performances.

 

Photo credit: Manuel Vason

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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