The Undefinable – Camden People’s Theatre, London

Writers/Directors: Shamira Turner and Eugénie Pastor

Reviewer: Scott Matthewman

The way in which romantic relationships are pigeon-holed is the focus of this anarchic performance by She Goat, aka performers Shamira Turner and Eugénie Pastor.

The duo perform as hosts of a garage radio station – basically a podcast with phone-in callers – who discuss the undefinable nature of relationships, both their own and other people’s. Part of the performance includes music and beat poetry looking at unconventional and forgotten relationships from history, including the intense epistolary relationship between Moby-Dick author Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Also in their sights are the “Ladies of Llangollen”, Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, who emigrated from Ireland to settle in North Wales together.

Turner and Pastor use synthesizers, a keytar and live looping to construct their music, later also bringing in electric guitars to supplement their sound. Other times, the sing and dance along to Mariah Carey and Elvis Presley.

The bigger focus seems to be on the relationship between Turner and Pastor’s mullet-wigged DJs. The exploration of non-standard relationships is a feint for the duo to explore and explain, their own status and the insecurities surging within them.

The ramshackle nature of the show has its appeal, although many of the couple’s attempts at humour misfire and the DJ framing obscures the show’s real topic as much as it enlightens. Still, the rejection of heteronormativity, and the exploration of other forms of romantic relationships is not unwelcome.

Continues until 21 December 2019 | Image: James Allan

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Romantic exploration

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