Sunday, 4 October 2009

Angus Balbernie: The Lining Of Bees @ The Bluecoat Liverpool 10/10/09

Angus Balbernie: The Lining Of Bees
The Bluecoat
School Lane
10 October 2009
8.00 - 9.30pm
Tickets from The Bluecoat Box Office 0151 702 5324

Angus Balbernie, A Lining of Bees – what the critics said of previous Lowry inspired dance/theatre:

Materials For A Small Winter

“Inspired by the semi-autobiographical writings and rantings of Malcolm Lowry and erotically shaded by the evocation of Rita Hayworth in Gilda, Materials For A Small Winter seemed to physically shimmer and warp in the heat of a boozily recalled Mexico. A simple, striking backdrop of slatted wood presumably corresponded to the author's fisherman's hut in British Columbia, yet resembled nothing so much as the spied through window blinds of classic film noir. Rising late and stumbling from the audience, Clive Andrews' Lowry – crumpling and contorting, intermittently inspired and doubling over with regret – seemed to pass through various stages of lucidity during an intensely personal Day of the Dead. A young femme fatale in an elegant red dress barked questions in Spanish that confused even the fluent amongst the audience and later pleaded with them to pluck out her eyes with a gleaming blade.

“Five female dancers passed at various times across the stage, all but ignoring Lowry and his proffered scribblings, the strums of his ukulele and his more idyllic memories. Instead – seemingly possessed by the raw spirit of Elise Dabrowski's yowled vocalising and mournful double bass – they were sometimes free to move gracefully, other times jerking violently and crushed into a physically demeaning, crawling departure.

“Conceived and devised in just five days by director Angus Balbernie and the cast, Materials For A Small Winter has an intensity and immediacy that render it impossible to wrench your eyes from”.

(Jay Richardson. The Scotsman. Scotland)

“’Intensive’ hardly encompasses the processes set in motion by Angus Balbernie - his Materials for a Small Winter was made from "zero to finish" in five days. Taking impetus from the life and writings of Malcolm Lowry, and with nods in the direction of Rita Hayworth's performance in the film Gilda, the piece had a discomfitting, raw energy that - like the vocalisings of double bassist Elise Dabrowski - yowled and jittered with the madness and sadness of Lowry's various booze-altered states.
“A dividing stretch of slatted wood created separate realms while the cast of seven threw caution to the wind, seized on Balbernie's mix of text and movement and delivered up one of those radical onslaughts that leave you feeling sand-bagged, unlikely to forget it, and amazed at what five days can produce”.

(Mary Brennan, The Herald.)

“It is an atmospheric 80 minutes of beautifully choreographed theatre designed to give its audience a weird but tempting insight into the brilliant mind of alcoholic novelist Malcolm Lowry...the characters combine mesmerising physical theatre with the equally off-the-wall words of the novelist’s literature.”

(Rebecca Gilbert. Bristol Evening Post.)

“Malcolm doesn’t understand borders ...of any kind”, declares one of the characters in Angus Balbernie’s take on the life and work of alcoholic author Malcolm Lowry. It’s a phrase that applies equally to this work, which ignores all performer/audience, dance/theatre, reality/fantasy boundaries. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this dance-theatre was a dream to look at, stimulating throughout, and both perplexing and engaging in turns.”

(Lesley Barnes. Venue Magazine.)

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