Reviewer: David Doyle
Chairs are one of the most commonly seen elements of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, often being the only set piece in smaller shows. In Stoel (Chair), an award-winning show from Belgium, two dancers revisit these familiar objects and create playful new worlds for young and old audiences alike in a delightful and well crafted physical performance. It’s an absorbing and entertaining forty minutes that always surprises and is entertaining from start to finish.
It is down the captivating performances of Colin Jolet and Miko Shimura that the piece works so well. Their effortless creation of new world after new world constantly keeps audiences enchanted. Often work for children, such as this one, speak down to children but instead Stoel manages to speak to them. Replicating the way that children themselves play, the performers weave a world that is familiar to children and magical for adults.
From the moment the chairs are first pushed on the chairs have a sense of agency in the piece and feel as though the have as much expression as the performers themselves. This is perhaps most evident in a wonderful final sequence in the piece in which a chair seems to break free from the confines of manipulation and moves in its own right. It is fitting that as the lights fade out, the performers and chairs share the space and the bows for this really has been a piece that equally centres both. Stoel (Chair) is a delicate and playful piece that is perfect for young and old audiences.
Runs until 14 August 2018 | Image: Alice Piemme