Devisors and performers: The CHANCE Collective
Reviewer: James Napleton
One in Four tackles the idea of mental illness as an invisible spectre, the signs are everywhere and we need to take notice of them.
In this interesting and imaginative, newly devised, piece The CHANCE Collective use a range of theatrical ideas to bring this often taboo subject out into the open.
With the lights out and the theatre darkened four of the cast surround the audience, one at each side. They pant heavily, hum and cry out intermittently; creating an intimidating representation of panic and internal discord. This deconstructed panic attack is a key example of how this piece excels, sharing difficult personal experiences with the audience through the language of theatre.
Physical theatre is also put to good effect in this performance. One scene sees the ‘five parts’ of a characters’ brain battle it out through intricate physical routines. This makes the work visually engaging. However, sometimes the physical ideas overpower a scene. A particularly abstract physical sequence is used while a character confesses her battles with mental health to the audience, the two dancing behind her sap some of the poignancy from the monologue.
The only props the performance uses are two chairs and three suitcases, which are incorporated imaginatively throughout. Three suitcases for the three characters struggling with mental health, seemingly this represents their psychic ‘baggage’. The performers deal with the subject of mental health well sharing individual stories of characters that found a stable path to recovery, characters that learned to live with their illness. It is the realness and immediacy of these characters and their problems that really hit home in this well-developed piece.
Runs until 20 May at Broadway Lounge
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