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The Enormous Room from Stopgap Dance Company returns in February following the 2017 London launch at the Lilian Baylis, Sadler’s Wells. Featuring David Toole, whose achievements and skills as a disabled performer have been widely influential, plus newcomer Hannah Sampson as a father and daughter living through their own, very different experiences of grief.
Dave’s wife Jackie has died, but he still sees her everywhere. She is lying in his bed, sitting at the kitchen table and laughing with their daughter Sam. Dave has withdrawn into the living room unable to let his memories go, but going is all that Sam can think about….
David Toole’s career includes a prominent solo in the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and the landmark 2004 film from DV8, The Cost Of Living. David has worked with Stopgap Dance Company for over a decade.
“A work that can take dance into a new genre” – Disability Arts Online
Sam is played by Hannah Sampson, a young dancer with Down’s syndrome who has received over 10 years of professional training with Stopgap Dance Company. The interactions between David Toole and Sampson demonstrate their onstage chemistry, which has been evident since initial rehearsals and workshops of this work.
“A wonderful exploration that comforts and provokes long after the piece has ended” – Exeunt
David and Hannah are joined by non-disabled dancers Amy Butler (the rehearsal director of Chotto Desh by Akram Khan) and Meritxell Checa (collaborator with Philippe Decouflé), who take the roles of Jackie as Sam’s mother and Dave’s wife respectively.
Lucy Bennett, Stopgap’s Artistic Director and choreographer for The Enormous Room, chose to have two performers play Jackie to illustrate the subjective nature of memory. The Cambodian wheelchair dancer Nadenh Poan plays Chock, a Puck-like presence who orchestrates the collision between this world and the next. Christian Brinklow from Great Yarmouth plays the role of Tom, who offers his friend Sam a chance to escape sadness.
8 February, 7.45pm : The Point, Eastleigh
21 February, 7.30pm: Gulbenkian, Kent
23 February, 7.30pm: DanceEast, Ipswich / www.danceeast.co.uk
6 March, 7.30pm: Tacchi-Morris, Taunton
20 March, 8pm: Salisbury Arts Centre