THEATRE / Rose English's My Mathematics - Royal Festival Hall, London SE1

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The Independent Culture
Rose English's one-night show relied on the assumption that the whole would add up to more than the sum of its parts: this was not to be. Despite her personal charm, the evening was a tedious ramble through mathematical musings which were never more than lightweight and failed to reach any form of coherence, let alone a conclusion.

The character English assumed for the evening was that of a faded circus performer, Rosita Clavel. Her glory days are over, and her troupe is reduced to one accordionist (Ian Hill) and a (real) palomino horse which appeared in the second half. Through her (one-way) conversations with the horse, 'my Mathematica', English came to the conclusion that: 'We are all animals.' Big deal.

Most of the show consisted, however, of English addressing the audience as herself, either wearing a silver fish-tail dress and 3ft-long false eyelashes, or, in the second half, a shiny white leotard, ankle boots and buttock-revealing tights.

The purpose of this latter outfit was to allow her to sit bare-back on the horse, facing away from the audience in a pose reminiscent of cowboys riding off into the sunset at the end of a western - an amusing visual image but, like the content of the show itself, this display of bare-faced cheek had no bottom.

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