A couple’s relationship is foundering – on the Rock of Gibraltar. She’s up at 6, giving him the wakey-wakey and leaving to-do lists for while she’s at work. He doesn’t work. Including housework. Instead he dreams of a holiday in Gibraltar and a certain señorita whose cheesy charms haunt his sleep. Caroline Bridges and Nathaniel Conroy’s Bedroom Reveries is a join-the-dots contrast of domestic reality with romantic escapism, but it’s served up with wit and gusto. Singer Claire Weston as the working girl delivers a restless final aria that suggests emotional depths not seen earlier in the piece.
The breezy action and offbeat humour sweeps you along – and still leaves you scratching your head
Vanessa Haska’s Dedicted to… is a five-woman piece on the theme of – what? Initially, it seems like lack of communication. One woman asks a slow question in slow English, another gabbles back in – Japanese? Or maybe it’s about childhood games. The women play a kind of follow-my-leader with silly walks: panicky ragdoll scampering, furtive tiptoeing. Or perhaps it’s about songs? There’s a shivering, wobbly rendition of ‘I Love You, Baby’. The dancers cluster and swivel around the stage like a ducklings, or form neat lines as they gesticulate. The breezy action and offbeat humour sweeps you along – and still leaves you scratching your head.
Apostalia Papadamaki’s Human Female Study comes with an adults-only warning because soloist Markella Manoliadi performs naked. Perhaps it also needs a health warning, for she walks on pointe without shoes, mashing her toes, and she keeps crash-landing onto her knees. She starts the piece as a shivering blind nestling; later she tries out some hair-swishing and catwalk spins. She arches and spider-walks upstage, exposing her vagina to the audience. The outsize image of her doll-like face gazes impassively from the screen behind her. It’s a brave, bruising performance that makes you want her to stop before she does any more harm to her body. Is it worth it? I don’t think so. It could do lasting damage to herself, and it’s not going to change the guys in the second row who came to see the naked dancing girl.