The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College
Runs from September 11th–14th @ 6.30pm; matinee Saturday 13th @ 1pm
Suitable for 16+
From the imagination of Áine Stapleton and Emma Fitzgerald comes this multimedia music and dance experience. Even prior to opening night this show had proved somewhat controversial, since the two women appear naked for the duration and indeed on the night I attended it was a pretty full house, and I was unsure if it was down to a genuine appreciation of their art.
To roll around a stage in your birthday suit for an hour takes some serious guts, but this is not nearly as voyeuristic as it sounds. For most of the show the two women are underneath platform covered in black mesh, which is supposed to represent a grave. Above them is a giant screen projecting Kaleidoscopic images, mostly made up of them and their body parts, and it is all accompanied by a thumping soundtrack which is mixed live by Djackulate (surely the best DJ name ever!). While they roll around and contort themselves on the floor beneath the platform, they also provide a voiceover in parts, mainly dealing with their past relationships, body image and death!
They only venture out from underneath the platform sporadically, and even then there is nothing erotic in the performance.
The pair are undoubtedly laying themselves bare here, but in places it all feels just a little uncomfortable. They don’t seem at peace enough with some of the subject matter to be sharing it, making for an awkward experience for the audience. Also, while this is very avant garde, it is just a tiny bit self indulgent. You get the impression they are doing this for themselves rather than for their audience, which leads to a feeling of disconnection.
It is an interesting concept and a very brave show, but it could be developed further for performance in order to connect better with the crowd. The soundtrack is great and the films are beautiful and unsettling at times, but it lets itself down when it comes to the live parts of the show. Worth seeing just to satiate your curiosity, but it doesn’t live up to the hype, and is not a Fringe highlight by any means.
For more information, visit fringefest.com