Imitating the Dog, Guilty Pleasures

Review in Issue 13-2 | Summer 2001

Imitating the Dog are becoming known for their innovative multimedia pieces, and this collision of TS Eliot's 1939 play The Family Reunion with present-day club and video references was an intriguing mix of upper class relationships and youthful misbehaviour. The 1939 side of the set contained microphones and chairs, in the middle were TV monitors and mixing decks, and on the other side... a toilet. Video cameras were aimed at faces, eyes, mouths – and other orifices. Six performers spoke text from TS Eliot as voiceover, into microphones, with little physical movement – presumably a conscious decision, but one which decreased dramatic possibilities. (It also made it difficult to remember who was who in the large family.) The interwoven contemporary scenes were played with gusto on, around and in the loo. And, as a kind of linking device, a simple dance was performed at different speeds at various points in the show.

The project was well planned and structured but ultimately seemed unsure of the connections it was trying to make: if I hadn't read the extensive programme notes I would have been at a complete loss as to what was going on. There was a huge amount of energy and precision in the performances – maybe with their next show the company will devote that energy to something a little simpler and with more heart.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-2
p. 27