Naked theatre

What a great evening.  Dog Kennel Hill Project at  MAO. I remember noticing publicity for ‘Choreography of An Argument round a table’ last  year and thought it looked interesting.  Having missed the opportunity to see it at Warwick I was pleased to get a chance to catch it in Oxford.

I expected shouting and lots of gesticulating, climbing and jumping around and probably emotion.  I knew there would be nudity as there was a warning.  I expected that to be brief and occur somewhere in the middle.

I did not expect nakedness, human ness, the direct explanation of the structure and the suggestions on how to deal with the intentional ’empty’ sections between stanzas (try repeating a simple phrase to yourself).  I did not expect so many words or languages or the sound of a piano.

I was delighted to be confronted, brought alive by the questions, by the sheer cleverness of the editing, construction, performance and absurdity.  By the intimacy and way the audience was included /acknowledged.  Fragments of arguments, discussions repeated, replaced, enacted, broken down, discarded.  Changing of positions and roles and genders.  No one fixed but the fixity of lines of argument of behaviours of postures and beliefs. Exposed.

Plenty of space for the suggestions of topics to chime with ones own preoccupations about the world, about self, about society. Space also for just being.  Intensities of energy at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum made near neighbours, passing from one to the other and back in a disconcerting visceral vibration.  Recognition of words, sounds, movements, undermined by repetition or absurd accompaniment.  Recognition.

Trying to describe what I saw or experienced to myself on the way home I kept not finding the right words, every sentence trying to pin it one way or another changed its mind half way through to say almost its opposite.  Super stylised but strongly natural, lots going on but plenty of space, funny and absurd but serious and real.  Challenging but no, not challenging in a confrontational way to the audience.  Energetic but also very calm.  Mundane and sophisticated. Dense but spacious.

This is theatre this is theatre this is theatre I repeated to myself excitedly ( following the advice ) But no, this is real, this is real , this is real.  This is what makes me feel alive.

Thank you Dog Kennel Hill Project and MAO


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