David Gale, I am Dandy

Review in Issue 11-4 | Winter 1999

It is a rare pleasure to find a physical theatre performance that is both technically superb and has the audience crying with laughter. David Gale's I am Dandy magnificently disproves the assumption that the terms ‘physical theatre’ and ‘entertainment’ are mutually exclusive.

One of the great strengths of the production lies with the company Gale has created. The actors produce one of the finest displays of ensemble acting I have ever seen. That is not to say the effect is one of bland conformity. Each actor is given a set piece to allow them to shine. And shine they do, almost to the point of incandescence. Gale directs the show as if it were a comic opera, with beautifully timed and frenetic group work seamlessly switching in an instant into the focused stillness of a single voice. Most impressive is Gale's choreography of concentration. No movement is wasted, no gesture distracts from the main event of the moment, as the actors manoeuvre their way around the piece like smart bombs.

Did I mention it's funny? Well it's not. It's hilarious. I don't think I've laughed so much since Mrs Thatcher resigned. One section, in which a member of the cast is transported to heaven only to discover Elton John paying a visit to the Princess of Wales, had the audience in stitches. The woman is blinded from looking at the Princess's magnificence for too long! After seeing this company in action, I know how she must have felt.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1999

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-4
p. 20