WAY OUT WEST, THE SEA WHISPERED ME
Touring till 25 November
Booking Details: Alice Booth, Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
Runs: 1h 15m, no interval, to 25.11.10
Review: Warwick Art Centre, Rod Dungate, 8.11.10
Thought provoking and enjoyable performance piece.
US company Cupola Bobber has put together a little show that looks at a lot of big things. It may be small, but it’s detailed, thought through and, at times, witty. Freeing themselves from the pressure of formal narrative direction, the two performers can explore ideas and the connections between them, then use these to move the show on to the next idea (and so on.)
The performance begins with a slow journey (I guess across America), belongings are dragged across the floor, men and belongings roped together. We think of reminding us of the wagons settlers used. But soon this journey becomes linked to memory and a different kind of journey is suggested. The two performers evoke mountains and clouds – then the sea wearing away at the mountain. Everyday items are remembered and the items lost in the sea, just as the memories may eventually be lost. Dissipation is spoken of, life and death, death and change are ever present.
Lest this all sounds very heavy, the performance is peppered with ready wit. ‘I’m a cloud and I’m dissipating’ repeats one performer (on the shoulders of the other). But the second performer’s increasing difficulty in supporting the ‘cloud’ demonstrates he’s anything but – and certainly not dissipating.
The stage-pictures created are always intriguing and rich; sometimes they’re stunningly clever – the sea/mountain representation stands out among them.
Stephen Flehn and Tyler B Myers perform with quiet commitment and provide a fresh look at the life around us.
Performers: Stephen Flehn, Tyler B Myers.