ChoppedLogic, The Runaround

Review in Issue 18-3 | Autumn 2006

Sand covers the stage and four bodies lie in the middle of the sand, a sculpture which takes the light effectively: the sand is raw yet beautiful, just like the athletic human body… Chopped Logic’s The Runaround spans two eras: the Berlin Olympics of 1939 and the London Olympics of 2008. The strength of this performance, directed and written by Cassie Werber, is in its engaging human stories, set against an aggressively political landscape – all shrunk to one arena, one patch of sand. In 1936, Helen Mayer is seen to be protesting against learning Hitler’s salute and Jesse Owens celebrates his four Olympic Gold medals, which shine out in the midst of nationalism and racism. So, too, come overlapping and converging stories exploring the cabaret scene of 1936 Berlin, as well as situations and relationships that attempt to connect the two eras of 1936 and 2008. Presented in snatches like this, these stories are intriguing yet frustrating. Inclusion of the 1936 Berlin cabaret scene gives rise to a number of songs in the performance. But as a narrative strand, the Berlin cabaret scene lacks the hedonism and decadence that could echo the darkness of Nazism: both lurk in the underbelly of Berlin in 1936, and this would justify its place in the performance. All four actors give strong, energised performances that infuse bold dynamism into The Runaround. Maybe they would have been better off by picking fewer stories and concentrating on them, but this sporting bonanza has no sense of its own limits and attempts to run ahead of itself. And this, after all, is what SPRINT is all about.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-3
p. 28