Guy Dartnell, Bottle (a voidance)

Review in Issue 8-1 | Spring 1996

‘From the heights of joy, to the depths of despair, Guy Dartnell takes the audience through a landscape of changing and intermingling feelings – showing what it is to have them, not have them, them have you, create them, avoid them…’ (Programme Note).

Bottle is a solo piece performed in spartan surroundings: a bare stage, a blank back wall. Lights, soundtrack and performer (plus the odd prop) were to conjure all. Guy Dartnell kicked off (literally) by knocking a football back and forth against the wall. Then followed a series of vignettes; a writhing monologue, screaming in ever more acute anguish, uncontrollable hysteria, and so on. Guy’s use of shadow was particularly excellent, for example to create a terrified, tortured giant against the rear wall. There were many other enjoyable aspects to the show, but overall it suffered from a lack of structure. The ideas were there, but the stuff to unite them into a piece of power and coherence was missing. Instead of an emotional rollercoaster, the performance was disjointed and at times brittle, too minimalist to bring off the intended impact. The improvisation was sometimes wilfully arty and obtuse. Perhaps if the piece moved further towards ‘dance’ the disjunctions might be smoothed out.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 8-1
p. 23