Compagnie 111, Plan B

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

It’s all a bit European dance/mime at first – very lovely but a little monotonous as suited men tumble down a slope, illuminated by a shifting palette of coloured light. But then windows open in the roof and it starts to get interesting as heads and hands pop up and balls are rolled from hand to floor, bounces activating percussive sounds.

The slope becomes an upright wall and we are into DV8 / Frantic Assembly territory as the men hurt themselves at the wall – leaping, jumping, climbing – being the first, the last – or the one who doesn’t make it. This is again transformed into something very different and exciting when a full-size door opens to reveal a brief, ecstatic, vibrantly illuminated burst of juggling. It is the frugal use of the company’s very considerable object manipulation skills that makes the piece so extraordinary. We are left desperate for more as each little burst finishes almost as soon as it has started.

Wall becomes floor, and a live video image of a figure lying on the floor is relayed on the back wall of the stage, so that he appears to be upright – an intriguing shift of plane similar in effect to the mirror used by Lepage in Far Side of the Moon. These physical effects are so simple – but like all the best tricks, we understand how it’s done yet are still mesmerised by the magic. The sound and vision effects in Plan B are mixed live, in a two-way response process between onstage and offstage artists. In its awareness of the elements of sound, vision, space and time in performance, this is a hard act to follow.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 24