Choreographers: Philip Connaughton & Ashley Chen
Reviewer: Saoirse Anton
Like a surreal, contemporary version of The Red Shoes, Whack!! bursts onto the stage and pushes the audience and performers to their limits. Testing the patience of the audience and the physical bounds of the performers, this is a production that will make you laugh, gasp, think and wonder as it explores two bodies colliding in a “quirky dysfunctional relationship.”
A merging of neatness and chaos, Whack!! explores boundaries between reality and imagination, between the conventional and bizarre. The juxtaposition of the costume and the music with the movement throughout was very effective, highlighting and interrogating those boundaries. When combined with the unusual structure of the show, this made sure the audience was caught and held throughout.
Connaughton and Chen’s choreography is impressive, dynamic and sometimes shocking, leaving the audience at a surprisingly delightful half-way point between uncertainty and laughter. Complimenting this engaging uncertainty are cleverly constructed moments of misleading or vague foreshadowing, a snippet of clear narrative here, a word or two there, which keeps the audience on its toes and invested in the performance. Connaughton and Chen bring to life a confusing, sometimes amiable, sometimes…well, less amiable…relationship that manages to absorb and provoke the audience in equal measure.
A real treat to see, Whack!! is a piece that sometimes shocks, regularly baffles and constantly engages and entertains.
Runs until February 27th | Image: courtesy of Project Arts Centre.