Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Todd and Kali are going to Stockholm. We witness them working through their petty insecurities whilst dance is used to illustrate the coming and going of a relationship that seems to have gone completely.
We enter to one couple on the floor onstage and four couples, two at either side of the auditorium; the male in the couple holding the female up in Christ like stances. The couple on the floor then rise up to begin a performance that brings dance to its heart and movement as part of the exploration of how things can go wrong between two people. By the end we discover that petty jealousies are indeed petty and all should be as wonderful as it ought to be with young love.
Billed as an exploration of Stockholm syndrome Bryony Lavery’s script calls for performers that are deft on a dance floor whilst able to portray the claustrophobic nastiness of a relationship gone bad. It has a cutting edge that requires the actors to push, prod and be polished whilst giving the audience insight into the world they inhabit and from which they want to escape.
And this where I think there is an issue. Whilst the performers are able to give us the moves, I failed to connect with the sentiments behind them. Nastiness does not need to come from experience but it does need a nasty taste in the mouth from having formed the words and expressed the feelings of fury. This just needed an explosion of bile that was not going to come from these well intentioned and toned young people.
It led to the words being delivered, almost monotone at time – even when the exchanges were supposed to be angry. The directorial style chosen appeared to be one where we were being given a story rather than witnessing the demise of passion.
And yet the performers were polished, engaging and worth watching. The choral movement set pieces were delightful and you could not take your eyes off them as they blended their bodies through the piece.
The visuals om screen helped enormously though I was less convinced by the set. At times I found it clumsy and kept hoping one would use it as parallel bars as I struggled to understand where it fitted within the whole piece.
The company are attached to the Free School Sandbach, and this was a school production that was superior to many I have seen. Notwithstanding the issues that I have, productions of this calibre should always be welcomed and celebrated, though I would suggest in future picking texts which can be carried by the experience of youth.