A small revolution happened in an East London council estate this week, were you there? Outbox Theatre, known for their cutting edge, contemporary work have taken their latest piece And The Rest of Me Floats to the Rose Lipman Community Centre on Du Beauvoir Road.
From bar mitzvah’s to blow jobs, unhinged self discovery burns like wildfire in this pacy, episodic show that contorts and refracts our perceptions of the gendered body. Director Ben Buratta and company presents an assemblage of diverse accounts on how trans, non-binary and lesbian and gay communities are critiqued, questioned and ultimately evolve.
Physical sequences (movement director Coral Messam) are buoyant and beautifully alluring. Moments of naked flesh, rhythmic vogueing and choral singing unite the company and lay the foundations of this strong ensemble piece.
Crucial to this piece is the power of fluidity and it’s meaning within the merky realms of sexuality and gender identity. Characters are nameless, yet distinctions are cleverly carved amongst the company to form narratives charting individuals progress in understanding their own identity.
Jess Jernberg’s lighting design is electric, en point with a charging energy that oozes sexuality. Red and blue hues drift into gorgeous halcyon glows, symbolic of the transgressive nature of this intuitive piece.
Sound design by Dominic Kennedy compliments the action wonderfully and engages the fragmented segments to form a more rounded piece.
The work is autobiographical, visceral and harsh. A body clad in a fur coat and stockings matched with sky high heels hurls towards a drifting plastic sheet. It sounds simple enough, but this sequence is harrowingly beautiful to watch.
Coming in at 1 hour, Outbox Theatre don’t miss a single beat. A conglomerate of movement, poetry and singing And The Rest of Me Floats is a gorgeous experiment in the capabilities of live art meeting devised theatre.
Ending on a powerful high, the audience get on stage with the company to dance the night away. This poetic final sequence hails a walloping response to recent bigoted outcries regarding trans and non-binary identities. As the audience twirl and sway under the balmy white light a resonating message of fun and play linger strong.
Gender constructs have, and always will be, a game of make believe. This performance puts a ground thumping stomp on anyone who might think otherwise. Outbox Theatre are clearly going on to bigger things and what might be interesting to explore next is the power of a structured narrative arc. The ground work has been set for a theatre company that will soon be bringing their punk spirit to the theatre masses. 4/5
Review written by Niall Hunt.
And the Rest of Me Floats is currently showing at the Rose Lipman Centre until Saturday 23rd September 2017. The production will also be performed at The Birmingham Rep from Monday 13th until Tuesday 14th November 2017. For more info, visit here…