Pacitti Company, Intermission

Review in Issue 21-3 | Autumn 2009

On stage, arranged as in a ‘noughts and crosses’ game, are nine evenly spaced cloaked microphones on stands. Each microphone is unveiled, revealing a label: ‘False Starts’, ‘High Horse’, ‘Fiction’, ‘Craft’, ‘Intermission’, ‘Glossary’, ‘Karaoke, ‘Fact’, ‘Numbers’.

On stage one woman, Sheila Ghelani, moves purposefully from one to another. At the base of the central microphone, ‘Intermission’, sit five cans of Stella Artois.

Ghelani is casually dressed in jeans and a baggy jumper, with the determination of someone with something to say, and in the space between spaces that is this stage, at each microphone, she delivers thoughts, observations, and statements – some fact and some fiction – directly to us. Under ‘Fiction’, for example, she tells us about a child getting a day off school, lying on a sofa under a duvet feigning tummy ache. She then steps to one side of the microphone and takes a bucket of water, from which she wets a flannel that she dramatically places dripping onto her forehead.

She’s such a strong, engaging and watchable performer. Her presence, her eyes, her manner, her deliverance. Covering issues ranging from immigration, politics, cannibalism, sex, and death, she’s amusing and insightful. It’s clear, it’s funny, it’s startling, it’s direct. It’s no messing about, it’s ‘listen to this’! At the end, she ignites the central ‘Intermission’ microphone. As the stage lights dim, the closing image of the burning flame sears into my mind.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2009

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-3
p. 29