BET4motion, The Rise of Robert

Review in Issue 18-1 | Spring 2006

A cold night, and an unprepossessing venue – the Nottingham Arts Theatre is as gloomy as I remember it, an early '60s décor overlaying '30s deco features, and seating which provided a constant reminder of its previous occupants. Added to which, the audience, sitting with their coats on and numbering barely three dozen, was a stark reminder of the ongoing struggles of provincial theatre, and radical theatre in particular. So I wanted very much to find BET4motion's The Rise of Robert rising above the difficulties which dog small, innovative companies. And I did – most of the time. It was ostensibly the life story of an ordinary man, Robert, beginning at the moment of conception and ending with his death. It offered through dance, movement theatre, music and words, a chronology of childhood games and cruelty, teenage angst, love and marriage, the grind of a monotonous job, and death. The dance was visually interesting. The music was inventive – cymbal played with bow; a breathy sax which was sound and music; and the ensemble drumming, using the stage, upturned buckets, anything which came to hand, and in which all the members of the cast took part, was one of the most exciting parts of the performance. There was confidence and innovation, and so I regret the use of a narrator (a bit of a cop out), and the attendant commitment to narrative. BET4motion have much to offer outside the confines of regular storytelling.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-1
p. 27