Choreographer: Irene Cioni
Creators: Tim Cowbury and Jessica Latowicki
Reviewer: Christy Ku
Relationships are hard to leave or look away from, despite the discomfort and the splinters that build up. Likewise, it’s hard to turn away from Made in China’s latest show. A sort of solo performance, Jessica Latowicki steps into the skeleton of a large metal box and flails her limbs, convulsing silently. In the middle of the show, she lies down in different poses. At the end, she spins endlessly. In between her ‘dances’, she circulates a script. And at the wings her real life boyfriend, Tim Cowbury, watches.
The fourth wall isn’t brokenbut utterly demolished. She climbs in and out of the rubble, putting words into the audience’s mouths and bickers with Cowbury. The show puts their relationship under a microscope and they apply more and more stress as we watch the results. It’s hard to tell what’s on the script and what isn’t, and who is the one in control. Cowbury mutters into a microphone and Latowicki shouts back at him. He wrote the script but she’s the one on stage. She talks of memories and dreams: the beautiful Instagram-worthy moment of dancing in fields and Cowbury’s imagined death-scene. But whose words are they? Is it Cowbury’s macabre glory in his death or a morbid fantasy from Latowicki?
Tonight I’m Gonna Be the New Me is deliberately awkward and uncomfortable, causing nervous laughter to bubble and die repeatedly. They play out their frustrations and their tensions among the soundscape of droning and high-pitched whirring, the brilliant lighting and confetti. At the end, as she spins, the pulsing coloured lights play tricks on your mind. Which way is she spinning? Are the lights changing? Why are the colours so odd? It’s surreal and strangely beautiful, like the disorienting moment between when you wake up and just before you remember who and where you are.
It’s a bizarre and confusing show as identities and voices blur, dipping in and out of golden memories and fantasies, performing and breaking down performances – but that’s relationships for you.
Runs until 23 April 2016 | Image: Richard Davenport