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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Cento Close

Compagnia delia Quarta

Genre: Dance and Movement Theatre

Venue: Zoo Roxy


Low Down

It’s certainly skilled, and the three performers have talent. However, there are no eyebrow or gasp-inducing moments, and not a great deal that will stick in the memory afterward. This isn’t to say that these are bad performers – they’re not – but Cento Close does not showcase them to the height of their undoubted abilities. A few props – particularly, tables and chairs  – are used, but as soon as the beginning of an interesting idea appears, we’re onto the next one, as if that were enough. It’s not. Occasionally, the tables are twisted on their sides – and, most successfully, stacked on top of each other, representing different office cubicles, but this is as far as it goes.


For the most part, then, this feels like a work in progress. The end result may well be excellent, but we’re not there yet. There’s a sequence in which the three artists are simply standing still with their backs to us, watching a screen at the back of the stage. It doesn’t feel like we should be engaged or entranced by their lack of movement; instead it feels simply like everyone is waiting for their next cue. In another moment, one performer sits, playing air-violin – which leaves us wondering if we in the audience couldn’t do better, obviously a fatal flaw at a physical theatre production.  

It’s all reasonably effective, but not nearly affecting enough. There are some sharp ideas here, but almost none of them are stretched to their full potential – indeed, it often fills like the three performers are not stretched beyond breaking into a very mild sweat. The piece works best when it appears that the performers are allowed to ‘let loose’ somewhat, and go beyond the constraints of the sequences. Otherwise, it’s Cento Close, but no cigar. Some nice ideas, but they never really get moving.