Gecko, The Race

Review in Issue 17-2 | Summer 2005

Running on the spot – it’s the biggest cliché in physical theatre. But Gecko take it and run with it as the recurring physical motif of The Race, starting with a coolly brisk solo trot on a conveyor-belt and building to a climax of frantic (assembly) ensemble jogging. The thing about this show is that there is nothing in it that we haven't seen before: physical action within filmie frames á la Wishbone; Complicite and-everyone-who's-been-to-Lecoq flocking/de-flocking; bungee ropes (Lyndsey Butcher/Charlie Morrissey). This is pop physical theatre to a big beat soundtrack – nothing too difficult to engage with, no unexpected new ideas or ways of expressing them.

But Gecko do it well – it is a pleasure to sit in a theatre and relax, knowing that the performers on stage can do their job. The Race jogs along nicely from start to finish in its exploration of a young man's impending parenthood mixed in with other strands of investigation of what it means to be part of the Human Race. There are a few odd dramaturgical decisions, in particular the turning on and off of house lights that seemed to have no logic (Bausch and Charnock can get away with this sort of thing but anyone else needs to have a damned good reason). Although not as smooth and easy a ride as Gecko's first show, Taylor's Dummies, The Race is a happy-go-lucky life-affirming show performed by a skilled ensemble that have great potential for appeal to younger audiences.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-2
p. 28