Matilda Leyser, Lifeline

Review in Issue 17-4 | Winter 2005

It is sometimes said that the problem with circus skills used in a theatre context is that it is difficult for these to represent anything metaphorically – after all, a rope is a rope is a rope. Well, not in Matilda Leyser's world. If you thought that the limits to human/rope interaction were just variations on climbing and dropping you'd be mistaken. Here, in this short piece that charts the pleasures and pains of growing up, the rope is set, props and even characters (childhood friend, lover). And we see that a rope can be a vehicle to express strength, vulnerability, enthusiasm, disappointment: an angle of the body, a tug on the rope or a change of pace is enough. Leyser's physical characterisation of the early stages of life is great – from unsteady, adventurous toddlerhood to running, tumbling girlhood to the petulance of early adolescence to the first pains of young adulthood. Her body shifts into each new phase with elegant ease, creating a series of animated pictures that are clear cut, convincing and often extremely moving. This piece is to form part of a performance triptych called Line, Point, Plane, commissioned by London International Mime Festival, the Royal Opera House and Pegasus Theatre. On the strength of what we have seen so far, this looks to be one of the highlights of 2006.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-4
p. 27