Choreographer- Lucy Bennet
Reviewer: Richard Marsden
The basic premise of Extra-Ordinary is that would-be dancer and DV8 enthusiast Lucy Hind is David Toole’s number one fan and has come into some money and managed to convince David to do a show with her.
Lucy Hind plays herself as an over enthusiastic dancer who feels in her heart she doesn’t have enough to offer and now the cracks are showing. David Toole plays himself as a jaded mercenary who is obliged to do this predictable work because he needs the money.
But they are parables of themselves and what is presented here is each performer’s fear of what the other and thus the world- could think of them. This is compelling for an audience due to the blurring of the ‘laughing at’ and ‘laughing with’ element. Lucy talks over David, patting him on the shoulder a lot, David’s dance is violent and impossible for Lucy. She hurts herself. She hurts David. He is almost a reluctant pet for her in this scenario. David refuses to engage- almost as if he has been bought and is desperate to make the show happen on his own terms. Lucy has brought a box of important objects for them to share- which turns out to be all her dancing shoes and her mother’s radio.
When they have both had their fill of each other- Lucy tires of trying to engage David in a dance while attempting to keep the audience sweet and David cannot stomach any more of the passé attempts at dance by Lucy – they verbally open fire on one another. As they said in the discussion after the show, this was difficult for the two friends to achieve at first- their insults were initially too polite. So they got around this by thinking of the worst thing they could say about themselves and they sent that in an email to each other.
Once this was established then they naturally went on in their construction of the show, to work with choreographer Lucy Bennett on the final dance. This dance is playful and considerate, without brute force or passive aggression- friendship mending or truly evolving. That kind of friendship we have after the can of worms has been opened and we can say- actually life isn’t so short that I can bear losing you and actually I could give a toss about what you think of me. The radio does wind up being a lovely object they share and a great tool for the spine and the poetics of the story.
The majority of the audience waited for the Q and A afterwards which on a Saturday night in Manchester I think is unusual. And I think that is because it was important for us to see a different interaction between the performers; we needed to see their real relationship and how they converse. And also a testimony to how great the show is.