Six Degrees Below the Horizon, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
You might imagine that a rainy Wednesday night in Huddersfield is one of the less likely places that you might happen across a theatre well-stocked with eager viewers for a French-language, avant-garde homoerotic fantasy. But you would be wrong.
Six Degrees Below the Horizon by the boundary-stretching theatre company Imitating the Dog, currently on a UK tour, began life as a British Council-funded collaboration with the National Theatres of Greece and Cyprus. Previous performances in a sun-soaked Athens went down very well indeed – as it is did in sleet-lashed West Yorkshire.
The piece was previously performed under the title Tales From the Bar of Lost Souls. Part cinema, part live performance, the show tells the story of a father moved to a sweltering death bed confession to the daughter who he abandoned as a child. A small team of actors lip-synching along in French to English sub titles take us back to the sailor’s earlier life in a seedy early 20 century French port where having jumped ship, our hero struggles to come to terms with the restrictions of land-locked existence whilst simultaneously enjoying the sensual benefits on offer around him.
Inspiration is drawn from the works of Jean Genet, the French modernist writer whose own early life as a vagrant cum male prostitute mirrors that of the play’s hero. Other influences include the German Frank Wedekind, sexual adventurer and forerunner of German Expressionism, and Bertolt Brecht. But although it drops some big names in the publicity material it is far from inaccessible or lofty – a fact attested to by the appreciative young audience who marvelled at the production’s technological wizadry, its wit and the outsize phallus that adorns the early part of the action.
This is an evocative if brief exploration of the life of the outsider and the idea that good people can do bad things - set to a beautiful musical soundtrack. It took a little while to tune into the aesthetic but once you get there it does linger appealingly in the memory afterwards.
Touring: Axis Arts Theatre Crewe; Exeter Northcott Theatre and Contact, Manchester to 9 May
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith embodies the young singer perfectly
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke