Pleasance Theatre

GISELLE: REMIX at the Pleasance Theatre


“a must-see – a piece of queer performance that is not to be missed”

Adolphe Adam’s romantic ballet Giselle tells the story of a young peasant girl who falls in love with the disguised duke, Albrecht. Driven mad by the revelation of his true identity, Giselle joins the deadly sisterhood of the Wilis, the ghosts of spurned women who seek revenge on their former lovers by dancing men to their deaths. GISELLE: REMIX – created by Jack Sears and Hannah Grennell and produced by Molly McGeachin at The Project People – reworks these universal themes of love and the loss of innocence through a queer perspective, reimagining Giselle (Sears) as a heartbroken queer individual who turns to the community’s sometimes overly sexual nightlife to satisfy their need for belonging.

Accompanied by a lively dance troupe (Harri Eiffert, Elle Fierce, Spike King and Marie Astrid Mence), Giselle explores her feelings of shame, assimilation and anger before eventually finding comfort in the camaraderie of the queer community, looking up to her elders and setting an example of queer joy and liberation for the next generation.

GISELLE: REMIX is a tour de force of lip sync, comedy, dance and cabaret. The choreography – a collaboration between Sears, Grennell and the troupe – is truly wonderful. The cast’s energy is incredible – the dancers writhe around the stage with outstanding finesse and Sears provides a powerful focal point. A particular highlight is a highly erotic dance to Anal Sex by Only Fire – the cast move seamlessly together, using their few bodies to successfully create the feeling of a packed, sweaty club. The production is accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack of queer icons and hyperpop bangers from Natalie Cole to the late SOPHIE.

The show features some wonderfully playful sound design (Rhys Cook AKA Oberon White) – most memorable being a hilarious mashup between sounds from male gay porn and famous declarations of love from television and film. The lighting (Lucy Adams) is masterfully atmospheric – it changes flawlessly between scenes and the mood on stage.

The set (Blythe Brett) is very plain – a round stage that has audience seated at its very edges for maximum engagement opportunities. There are no props and only rare appearances from a stool. Good use however is made of the stages various entrances and exits – the troupe regularly disappear and reappear from a staircase at the back of the stage as well as tumbling from the left, right and back for more dynamic entrances.

The costumes (Laura Rose Moran-Morris) are well conceived. The cast begin wearing soft pastels and tulle ballerina skirts before casting these off in favour of leather and fetish wear. Their movements also change significantly throughout the show – what was once smooth is now erratic; Giselle’s innocence from the opening scenes completely discarded. Sears puts on an especially amazing performance when dressed in a gimp suit, lip syncing aggressively to a rather frightening audio about various fetishes. Positioned on all fours, he bangs and grips the floor and fabric around him, violently ejecting a near-nonsensical stream of conscious.

My only criticism is that of the guest performer. Each show is to feature a guest performer – Kit Green, Jonny Woo, or Lavinia Co-op – depending on the date and the foremost present for press night. GISELLE: REMIX began with a lip sync from Green that was unfortunately wholly lacklustre.

Their choice of song was far too slow and though they injected some humour through breaking their lip sync and requesting the audience undress them, their asides were lost on anyone not in the very front row. Their performance was also quickly forgotten when the commanding stage presence of Sears and the captivating movement of the dance troupe took over. Green appeared again at the very end of the show – offering a comforting hand to Giselle-cum-Sears as they realised the power in standing united with your fellow marginalised people, but their particular presence added no real value. Hopefully, subsequent guests bring a matching vigour to the show.

GISELLE: REMIX is a must-see – a piece of queer performance that is not to be missed. It is exciting to think of what Sears, Grennell and The Project People may do next.


GISELLE: REMIX at the Pleasance Theatre

Reviewed on 12th April 2024

by Flora Doble

Photography by Ali Wright




Previously reviewed at this venue:

GWYNETH GOES SKIING | ★★★ | February 2024
CASTING THE RUNES | ★★★ | October 2023
DIRTY CORSET | ★★½ | April 2022
SHE SEEKS OUT WOOL | ★★★★ | January 2022
DOG SHOW | ★★★★★ | December 2021
LIGHTS OUT | ★★★★ | October 2021
CATCHING COMETS | ★★★★ | September 2021
EXPRESS G&S | ★★★★ | June 2021
GINGER JOHNSON & PALS | ★★★★ | June 2021



Click here to see our Recommended Shows page