Company Fierce / Quarantine, Susan and Darren

Review in Issue 19-1 | Spring 2007

Darren lives at home with his mother in the house he grew up in. He’s a professional dancer and Susan a professional cleaner. We enter to the sound of Up Town Top Ranking. Mother and son are dancing: the uniqueness is that they’re not fictional characters, they’re for real. We’re all up on the stage. The audience sit around three sides of a large parquet floor. There are some armchairs and a row of TV sets that make up the fourth side. I’m sitting on a stool behind a kitchen work surface. Darren describes the furniture in his mum’s sitting room; Susan tells us about her choice of sofa and her favourite place to sit. Darren asks whether his father, who died before he was born, ever wore a hat. There’s a quiet dance between son and mother; she asks him what he’ll miss about her when she’s gone: her shepherd’s pie. I’m making sandwiches. My butter knife is poised mid-spread during the sharing of a moving and intimate conversation about Darren’s father’s murder. Mid-show there’s a question time where the audience are invited to ask anything they wish. There’s an audience participation dance routine using moves learnt in a pre-show workshop. On the work surface directly in front of me, Susan tenderly washes Darren and dries him with a tea-towel. At the end, they dance together into darkness. Their mutual love and pride is dazzling. Yet that’s not the end. We’re all invited to stay to eat the buffet. We nibble, drink and chat, dance to disco music. It’s the best night out I can remember. I’m moved, almost to tears, by the honesty, directness, warmth, and clarity in the performance, and have great fun at the party! This is poignancy unadorned. Extraordinary ordinary lives celebrating just being.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-1
p. 29