Director: Alex Scott
Company: Little Bulb Theatre
Reviewer: Hannah Rowlands
‘Isn’t it rich? Isn’t is queer?’, Sondheim once pondered, his lyrics ringing out from the soundtrack of kitsch classics and dynamic synthesizers accompanying Little Bulb’s new dance show Squally Showers. He could certainly have been talking about Little Bulb, for what they lack in traditional dance skills they make up for in quirkiness. Their focus is the 80s, the decade of ‘all or nothing’, Maggie Thatcher is in Power, and for those working in the shiny world of media, the future is sparkly and glitter curtain bright (quite literally). From where we stand now, we know the outcome of Thatcher’s Britain but for the naïve and self deluded characters of Squally Showers the fantasy is real.
Each scene moving at the same lick of pace as a Tony Scott film, we hit the ground of Squally Showers running. The speed of delivery and bevy of bizarre characters, makes it hard to keep track of the story, but the action soon takes a turn for the surreal, with a series of long dance routines including the appearance of unicorns, aliens and Thatcher, surrounded by an excess (it is the 80s after all) of money and bubbles. There’s something of the Forced Entertainment about the show, a focus on mood, metaphor and disorientation, like an extended bank advert crashing into the ending of Labyrinth, where instead of David Bowie, the audience is left running around wondering where on earth they are. Squally Showers is sometimes more of a wide swipe than a thorough critique and often confusing but always engagingly and definitely brave.
Runs until Sat, 24thAugust