The Yard Theatre
Reviewed – 22nd January 2019
“has all the ingredients conceptually, but the reality of the production at its current stage of development, is that none of these ingredients are explored in any depth”
As we walk into the space we are doused in the smell of incense which hangs in the air. We take our seats as two silhouetted forms dance side by side. At moments they are so utterly intertwined that their shapes present as one form. It is an exciting beginning, but unfortunately over the course of an hour the piece makes little progression from this point.
The two performers do go on to attach themselves to ropes that hang from the walls, which allows them the capacity to play with weight and falling. This is a really effective idea that I wanted them to do more with, to investigate every one of its possibilities. Furthermore the transitions into and out of this section as they attach and remove their ropes, feel fumbling and unrehearsed.
Another segment involves a showing of a short film of dreadlocks brushing the nipples of their owner in extreme close up, as the two performers hold each other. Again, a really interesting idea that doesn’t feel like it goes anywhere, or sufficiently explores the possibilities that it creates.
The lighting and sound are the strongest elements of the work. Different colours are thrown across the stage, and the lighting pours in from every corner of the space alternately, allowing variety within the creation and distortion of the silhouette based shapes. The sound design is brutal and all consuming, bringing the movement to life, flowing and jarring as it does.
‘48 Hours:’ is an evolving collaboration between internationally acclaimed artists Rowdy SS and Last Yearz Interesting Negro. Their interactions investigate shape and bodies, closeness and distance, whether proximity is intimate or violent or sexual. The piece has all the ingredients conceptually, but the reality of the production at its current stage of development, is that none of these ingredients are explored in any depth. The product is monotonous and unengaging and far longer than it deserves to be. Progression and narrative are not translating across to the audience, so the beauty that is within these ideas is drowned in vagueness.
Reviewed by Amelia Brown
The Yard Theatre until 26th January as part of Now 19 Festival
Previously reviewed at this venue: