Edinburgh – If There’s Not Dancing

If There’s Not Dancing at the Revolution, I’m Not Coming at Summerhall (Anatomy Lecture Theatre) sees Julia Croft create ‘A rich contemporary performance collage of film scripts, pop songs, advertisements, elaborate costumes and dance reassembled to challenge the treatment of women’s bodies as spectacle in popular culture.’

There’s a lot I love about this performance.  Julia recreates some fascinating film scenes to show how women have been represented in popular culture over the years.  She wears pretty well everything she uses at the start, each character revealed by peeling back.  It’s full of life, alcohol, objectification and spectacle.  But its very much a sequence of sketches, and it develops slowly; the central theme is at times lost.

Only towards the end is there real impact but the swing is too sudden, too dramatic.  It needs more finely tuned pace. We are jolted from classic films to violent sexual pop culture.  The middle ground, where some of the most positive argument might have been found, is lost.  Strongly sexual lyrics are projected on the screen but they are unattributed and their context is lost.

Julia says she made the show because she was angry but I think too little of the anger makes it into the first part and too much into the second.  Despite there being exceptional performances within the show, and covering an urgent and necessary topic, the whole show doesn’t hold together.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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