.dash: And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

.dash: And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

.dash: And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out was one of those most frustrating of fringe shows, where it’s clear lots of thinking and ideas have informed what you are watching onstage but they don’t make it into the work. A miniature train set loops around the space, there are two running machines, side by side, a drum kit and a model box, and a live feed camera trained on the interior. An intriguing collection of ingredients, but it wasn’t clear to me why they were there.

We enter the space to the shambling drone of a narrator of sorts, brandishing a mic, whose monotone monologue circles around a framing idea for the piece – that they are going to talk to us about stars. Bookending his ramshackle presence is a leanly choreographed female narrator, much more able to get to the point, who interrupts and underscores the narrative throughout with lavishly detailed descriptions of the lifecycle of a star. The metaphorical connection they wish to make is between two individuals meeting, building a relationship and splitting up, and this epic tale of particles colliding to make light.

But there wasn’t enough light in the story for me to feel this metaphor could hold true. Put simply, there wasn’t enough believable love. So much focus was on the form of the storytelling, the frame, the ways in and out, that there was no space to share with us the beauty and power of the love in the relationship – a connection that for me felt necessary to justify the weighty parallels being drawn.

The company have devised some witty and believable material for their couple to play out, although they’re a young company and the relationship too feels quite immature (not necessarily an issue in itself, but becoming more so when placed alongside epic tales of stars gathering and collapsing). They are combining some interesting languages on stage and their storytelling feels fresh: it has a familiar frame but their storytellers never pushed us into overdone quasi mystical territory. Their technological ambitions were hampered in a festival venue and the intention behind the use of live feed wasn’t clear to me, but I admired the company’s energy and I would like to see them develop this piece further.


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About Lisa Wolfe

Lisa Wolfe is a freelance theatre producer and project manager of contemporary small-scale work. Companies and people she has supported include: A&E Comedy, Three Score Dance, Pocket Epics, Jennifer Irons,Tim Crouch, Liz Aggiss, Sue MacLaine, Spymonkey and many more. Lisa was Marketing Manager at Brighton Dome and Festival (1989-2001) and has also worked for South East Dance, Chichester Festival Theatre and Company of Angels. She is Marketing Manager for Carousel, learning-disability arts company.