Petra’s Pulse, Donkey Shadow

Review in Issue 18-3 | Autumn 2006

What you think is a paper rock starts to make a noise as though it is being hit by rain; then it begins to distort and pulsate, in fact breathe, warm-colour fingers pressing at the inside and reforming the surface. It breaks open, and a half-naked woman emerges.

Donkey Shadow made a game of recasting performers and props. At one point, a man and woman came out in white suits and performed a brilliant twisty dance to the tune of Quizás, Quizas, Quizás, performing it so well that you could feel the audience wanting to applaud at the end of it, like the air before rainfall – but the song played almost immediately again, this time distorted, and the dance was re-enacted as an aggressive push-me-pull-me sequence, the white suits now judo suits. The performers had impressive physical charm. Jamie Wood made for a charismatic clown. Selina Papoutseli had a shockingly mutable face; when it fell into shadow, she seemed to desiccate – she was incredibly old, and mad, then male for a time, then once again mad. The lighting was impressive, but the show's main pleasure was the way it had of switching senses, turning a sight gag into an audio joke, or letting a looped series of actions develop as a wave of scent swept the theatre. Transformations were so frequent no scene seemed final. At the end, a woman smashed a watermelon, then left the stage, then returned half-naked to eat the watermelon, then left the stage – the audience unsure whether this was the end, and therefore the right moment to applaud.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-3
p. 28