Review: Ockham’s Razor in Arc / Memento Mori / Every Action… at Linbury Studio

Performance: 22 January 2007
Reviewed by Lindsey Clarke - Friday 26 January 2007

Part of the London International Mime Festival

Ockham’s Razor believe something magical happens when an audience watches aerial theatre. They may well be right. Their triple bill is riveting and innovative yet stripped down and simple, executed with gentle charm and humanity. My mouth remained open for most of the show. It was spell binding, gravity defying movement and storytelling.

*Arc* explores the relationship between three people set adrift. Set on a metal grid of hollow pipes strapped together like a raft and suspended in the air against a blue backdrop and a watery soundtrack the performers travel through fear, boredom and irritation at their situation to playfulness. Cutting away the corner supports of the grid they’re sent rocking and spinning, laced through the bars, over and over in gleeful abandon. Unfortunately, the piece doesn’t hit the dark notes hinted at in the programme. The drama doesn’t spiral into the deep and nobody’s really going overboard despite the intermittent sulks and fallings out but it’s still a joy to watch.

The duet, Memento Mori, takes place on a wooden frame, like a static trapeze. A pseudo-nude Alex Harvey, representing death, blankly allows a strikingly scarlet frocked Charlotte Mooney to writhe and climb around him, resisting and teasing him. It’s an intimate piece shot through with Mooney’s sensuality, especially at the moment when she submits to Harvey, bringing moments of beautiful peril, hanging from a human trapeze, utterly trusting in her partner’s grip.

Every Action… is a playful and charming climax to the triple bill. Four performers play with four different sized boxes and the implications of their respective sizes. A long rope is rigged up centre stage, hanging like a pair of curtains. The premise is simplicity itself; tug on one end of the rope and see what happens at the other end but the company play with this idea ingeniously, acting out their own comic exploration of Newton’s third law. It’s easy to forget how technically talented, strong and daring these performers are since their execution is so natural and fearless but what’s really compelling about this company is that they seem as amazed and delighted at their abilities and adventures as we are.

Ockham’s Razor’s mix of effortless aerialistics, innocent charm and crowd pleasing artistry is genuinely heartening; the majority of the audience watching, enraptured. On the most depressing day of the year the London International Mime Festival audience at the Linbury Studio couldn’t have wished for a better antidote to the January blues.

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