Perpetual Motion, Perfect

Review in Issue 13-4 | Winter 2001

The quest for perfection is the Holy Grail that defines us as human beings, placed as we are somewhere between the angels and the beasts. Whether that quest keeps us floundering in the mire or helps us to reach for the stars is explored in Perpetual Motion’s Perfect.

Directed by Emi Slater, this is a new piece of theatre that is teeming chock-full of fascinating ideas executed with humour and panache. The company present a series of inter-textual set pieces which merge harmoniously together – proof of the Gestalt theory that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. They plunder popular culture to play with the cliches of romantic illusion, body paranoia and fear of sexual inadequacy. Bounds of good taste are sensibly ignored with Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful World’ and Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ jostling with disco, boogie and happy house as a soundtrack for the all-singing all-dancing cast of two male and two female performers. The invisibility of physical disability is dealt with brilliantly in a ludicrously funny ‘Ode to a One-Armed, One-Legged Bride’.

Film is used to create a visual setting for the piece – swathes of colour projected straight onto a specially painted back wall, shadows used brilliantly as a metaphor for the other self. As in all good physical theatre, the performers are not ‘acting’ but existing in the space as part self and part other – a quality which the company’s dramaturg describes as ‘transparency’. It is this quality that finally sells the message of the show that Being There is more important than ‘Having it all’.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-4
p. 28