Chunky Move, Tense Dave

Review in Issue 17-3 | Autumn 2005

It has been a long time since I heard a performance set applauded, but the one that Chunky Move developed for this piece probably deserved it. Virtually all of Tense Dave takes place on a huge creaking wooden disc that rotates continuously throughout the show. Upon this circular stage, fragmentary walls are wheeled around by the performers, so that a whole string of spaces and places are assembled and inhabited. What they are inhabited by is a dizzyingly various sequence of events, some obviously narrative, some scarcely so, some apparently entirely abstract, and some even recognisable as dance. The only constant character throughout all this is the eponymous Dave, and with a dream-life like this (for that is what the conclusion of this show suggests that it is) no wonder the poor chap is tense. Abe-suited man barks nervously into a telephone and then takes lascivious photographs of his shoes; a young woman dresses in a deep red velvet gown and enacts a whole romantic adventure straight out of Jane Austen; a juicily over-amplified Sci-fi bloodbath occurs, and Dave finds himself the star of a cheesey musical show and lip-synching to Judy Garland. Indeed, there is actually too much happening here, and some of the admirable discipline that the company brought to the practical and technical aspects of this show would have benefited the development of its performance content. Perhaps then the much darker performance that lay within Tense Dave might have made it to the surface.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-3
p. 30