A Little Space
By Gecko and Mind the Gap at New Wolsey Theatre
‘A unique blend of theatre, choreography and stunning imagery’ says the programme and ‘unique’ is certainly the word. My interpretation of this can be described as an original movement performance theatre piece. A completely new style of theatre for me to experience: there were no words, only movement and breath blended with background music and sounds. When I say ‘movement’ I don’t mean dance, not even contemporary dance and I’m sure the actors would agree they were not dancing. The movement came from physically expressing the emotions with big gestures, creating shapes with their bodies and limbs. Additional sounds with their breath almost as though they were speaking gave us more insight into which emotions were being portrayed. There were oooo’s and ahhhhhh’s, screams and gasps to accentuate the performance, hats off the actors for using sounds and movement to express the story.
Although, there wasn’t too much of a tangible storyline and I can’t reveal any spoilers as I was not entirely sure what was happening. I did understand the premise that a girl had moved into a flat on her own and subsequently was struggling with some mental health issues. However, I can’t be sure whether she was having dreams, or flashbacks, or had ghosts in the apartment, or the devil, or whether her imaginary friends were her anxiety demons.
There were other actors with almost tangible stories: the couple living with his addiction to TV which caused issues and a repeat scene from Coronation Street. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully understand the others and was totally thrown by the bizarre chair creature.
However, I certainly had the impression all the characters were suffering from internal struggles which only became worse with continued internalisation. There were dark moments. We were made to feel uncomfortable and confused so we could attempt to appreciate the madness of another’s mental stresses – something we can never truly understand.
They all managed to eventually break free and I believe it was through reaching out for help and getting away from your own demons. It was exploratory theatre touching on how tortuous mental health issues can be for the individual. I hope I have understood the concept, however this is why something so unique and original is so interesting as maybe the other people in the audience had a completely different take on the performance.
The set was inside the apartment but with the ‘brown coats’ moving all the furniture about, it was a fluid set with the ability to create both dream-like and nightmarish scenes. At only an hour long, it’s worth being open minded to watching something totally unique at the theatre – I would love to hear your comments if you go to see it.