CHARMING EXISTENTIALISM WITH VISUAL MADNESS (by Andy Mcleod)

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Charming little venue, The Space tucked away on the Isle of Dogs is full of surprises. It is home to Heads Bodies Legs, an experiment in extreme existential slapstick, until August 11th. The piece comprises live and visual art to create a world were emotions are regulated to specific times of day and love is put in a box.

The design of the piece, orchestrated by Linda Toigo, creates and unexpectedly immersive atmosphere and we have some of the cleverest use of projections I have seen from a young company. There are bold attempts to link scenes with visuals and music but there are moments were it feels like we are waiting for actors to change costume that need to be filled. The company have given themselves a gift of the animation of the projection and more can be done to connect to the narrative.
The ensemble works very well together and there are some moments of real joy.

Particularly touching is the story of Sean and Louise (played by Damien Hughes and Eleanor Jones) as they try desperately to find the right kind of love while staring at a picture of food for nourishment. There are some important correlations with modern media perceptions of beauty and the body that give the piece crucial relevance. We also see the fear that is instilled when emotions are ‘made flesh’.

Some ideas are clearer than others and there are elements of the piece that require development but if you are considering whether or not to make the trip over to Mudchute and if you have never been to this lovely venue before, this charming, clever piece is well worth a visit and would not be out of place on the fringe festival circuit.

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