Horla, A Double Bill: Sprog and Cinnamon & Pork

Review in Issue 12-2 | Summer 2000

Sprog is a solo piece performed by Tracy Bargate. It tells the story of a life – from foetus to geriatric – and in just under half an hour falls into almost every pitfall, cliché and contrivance that the two words ‘physical theatre’ can ever infer. A powerfully built performer shouts and screams to little or no effect under very bright light. Does she realise we’re barely two metres away from her? Even in a pub, there’s no excuse for this. Both as a child and as an elderly lady, Bargate’s performance reeked of exploitative sentiment, although what could she possibly do with a script as numbingly banal as this? Even when well executed, any gesture or ‘physicality’ seems aimless, out of place, or tacked-on – like the awful scrawls of embryos stuck on the wall. Ditto the desperate attempt at ‘interaction’ which hardly bears remembering such was the embarrassment. I could go on. Brash lighting, forced voice, total, fearsome disregard for the intimacies of the space, failed attempts at ‘neutral’ costume (a see-through white jogging suit and pigtails?), Sprog is still in mime school and needs to get out a bit.

Unbelievably things get worse with the next piece, Cinnamon & Pork. Fifteen minutes of soapy humdrum (about fourteen minutes too long) depicting a bitchy brother and sister doing almost nothing, plus granny poking about in the shoddy scenery. Exit granny for chocs and cigs. Enter mysterious Aunt Mary. Neither brother nor sister know her, but they like her pie and cordial. Soon all engage in happy banter, worries behind them. Re-enter granny. Surprise, she’s come to the wrong house. What a twist. How embarrassing.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-2
p. 26