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And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

Originally posted at

In this experimental theatre piece .dash use performative mediums of live music, dance, multimedia and a cheeky bit of traditional acting. They fuse the grand narrative of astrophysics with a small scale story of boy meets girl. These concepts may seem worlds apart (no pun intended) but they gel quite nicely with the parallels between the life cycle of a star and the life cycle of a romantic relationship. Some may find this connection a bit farfetched, and the switching between naturalistic love scenes and narrations of astrophysics frustrating, but I found it interesting and innovative. If either element of the show was isolated it would be nothing special or new, but instead we have something which no audience member will have seen before.

While it may seem hard to engage with the style of the show and content of astrophysics, the romantic story completely draws you in. It is not sentimental or clich├ęd but instead picks up on the everyday moments of a relationship that hold so much power: the awkwardness of beginnings, a thrilling brush of the arm, the first kiss but also painful moments such as beginning to dislike the person that you love. The awkwardness and tension of these scenes was evident: a sign of the success of the writing and acting.

.dash describe themselves as ‘noisy, innovative and blisteringly theatrical’ and this is true. It’s also worth noting that this quote can be a positive or a negative depending on your point of view. If you enjoy a bit of experimental theatre with a rock’n’roll style and attitude then this will be for you. If you a more traditional theatre goer then the experience may jar with you. It doesn’t always make sense. It is often rambling and noisy but it is actually nice to see a performance which is in no way formulaic. Those familiar with the work of Forced Entertainment will enjoy the similar style and shambolic nature. The act appears to unravel at times but really the performance is carefully crafted to create this effect. When an awkward and grungy man in his early twenties repeatedly tries and fails to explain the technicalities of astrophysics we warm to the material and to the performer. The stage setting is eclectic and chaotic featuring treadmills, miniature electricity pylons and trees. It is all very bizarre, but also quite beautiful.

If you like your theatre experimental, loud and not always making sense you will embrace the challenge of this show. What .dash do is different and daring, but they do it so well.

The Warren. 5 - 7th May 16:30 - 17:30. Tickets £8.00 Concessions £6.00 PG – Children (16 and under) must be accompanied by an adult