Watch Out, at Cambridge Junction
Watch Out, Cambridge Junction’s one-day festival of thought-provoking theatre and dance, returned with a high-quality mix of the unsettling, challenging and comedic.
Part of the venue’s commitment to supporting contemporary performance from local and national artists, Junction Young Company – home to aspiring local actors aged 14 to 21 – looked anything but out of place in the excellent Nobody’s Hero.
Devised by the group in conjunction with Made in China, ostensibly about heroes, and young people striving for perfection, it quickly became a dark comedy, a critique on society’s expectations. An enjoyable opening of bijou monologues morphed into gestures, movement and dance, coupled with confident, rapid-fire dialogue.
Without answers, but making a stand against the pressures, strains and ridiculousness of parts of teen culture, Nobody’s Hero (below) was equal parts fun and frightening.
Made in China presented Smithereens, a script-in-hand (very early) work in progress in which the actors only met five hours before the performance. In this context, text was almost exclusively to the fore. Citizens are reflecting on a traumatic event. A writer is doing a piece about bombs. The intersections of right/wrong, truth/lies are exposed in a world used to spectacle.
Hannah de Meyer’s Levitations (main picture) explored a dream-world, fairy-tale landscape of thoughts and memories, using gestures and snatches of dance, weaved among off-kilter text for a spectacle to savour.
Choreographer Lola Maury’s new show Brouhaha featured three dancers moving almost as one disjointed mass for the first quarter hour, part Butoh Japanese dance theatre, part Pina Bausch. Gradually more movement is created, as the field recording/electronic soundtrack builds imperceptibly. At times flowing yet awkward, the swirls die down in the final ten minutes as a near-static vocalisation demands our full attention: something that Brouhaha earned the right to do.
Watch Out was another successful journey into a wide variety of theatre. Make sure you catch it next year.