Walking Without Travelling is not so much a journey as an accumulation of sounds and images. There’s recorded text (by Marie Bouts) about going north, arriving, going south. There’s live speech: a woman recites some numbers, says ‘tell Laura I love her’. There are projections (by Luca Favella): plants, cityscapes, pebbles. And there is choreography (by Anaïs Bouts, for four dancers): sweeps across the stage, some nicely crafted staggered formations, and (oddly) a tango. Near the end, a guy tells a lady in red that there’s nothing in her head – nothing but a pebble. Aha, I thought, a pebble! My thoughts ended there. Narrative fragmentation and free association may be good ideas, but not if they leave the audience trying to get blood out of a stone.
motifs that accumulate almost mathematically, like a game of choreographic hopscotch
Rest less me is also based on fragmented stories and images, but could not be more different. It was devised by splicing together the personal memories of choreographer Annie Pui Ling Lok and dancer Shamita Ray. But you needn’t know (or care) about these ideas for this piece to work its magic. It is performed in silence, with only a taped square on stage by way of décor. The opening section is built from little skips and turns – motifs that accumulate almost mathematically, like a game of choreographic hopscotch. Subsequent sections follow the same pattern with different material: over-the-shoulder glances, swizzling on the spot, writing on an imaginary blackboard. The stark choreography is saturated with connotations, and Ray delivers an understated but highly focused performance. A real pleasure.
And now for something completely different. Maker-Do is a physical comedy sketch show for five women by Suzy Harvey. There are a lot of sight gags – some truly funny, like the party waitresses who turn into flamenco dancers, fingers elongated with breadsticks, carrot slices and celery sprigs. Chasing the beacon of light entertainment, they run through a bit of salsa, some jive, some ballet. There are plenty of neat ideas, but the pacing is all over the place – and in comedy, timing is everything.