Knavish Speech, Bed

Review in Issue 19-4 | Winter 2007

Time for bed, and Knavish Speech invite us to join them. The invitation is a little awkward (many companies find this transitional moment difficult, unsure of whether they are in character or not). But the moment eases over as we enter the main space at CPT to discover a dormitory of double beds, some occupied, some not. We are encouraged to find a comfy spot and settle down. What follows is a ‘play’ on beds and bedtimes, a romp through every possible association that can be imagined, from nursery to girlish sleepovers to first loves and beyond. The ensemble of half-a-dozen (male and female) performers use a mix of theatrical devices: there’s spoken monologue and short scenes of dialogue; wordless solos or duets or trios, using a post-Bausch gestural dance mode. The space is used well, with attention moved from bed to bed by the clever use of lighting, or sometimes by a performer moving into a bed occupied by someone else – perhaps another performer, perhaps an audience member (leaving them with the interesting decision of whether to stay or go). In some ways, the piece felt a little raw: a selection of workshop exercises that had not yet ‘cooked’, and although there were some excellent performances, the delivery of text was a little erratic – some of the company were not native English speakers and I found myself longing to hear more of their own languages. But despite these reservations, an enjoyable show, packed with ideas and full of promise.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-4
p. 31