Skip to main content

Anatomy: Finest Cuts

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Four stars

If you believe the elaborate fable told from a storybook between acts during this greatest hits compendium from Edinburgh’s live art cabaret extravaganza, the night’s roots stem from the early 1980s. In their boundary-pushing diversity, some of the acts actually do recall what used to be called alternative cabaret during that era. Either way, the eight bite-size performances culled from the last five years of speak-easy one-nighters revealed Anatomy as key players in the city’s ever fertile artistic underground.

Hosted by Anatomy founders Harry Josephine Giles and Ali Maloney, the show opened Rosa Postlethwaite’s tellingly named Without Whom We Would Not Be Here Tonight. Lewis Sherlock followed with The Undercog, in which Sherlock shadow boxed with funding bodies. In Sanitise, Jordan & Skinner choreographed the domestic excesses of cleaning a toilet with wordless wit, while in Uranus, Moreno Solinas sang arias to illustrate sexual need.

The second half opened with Palimpsest, The Cloud of Unknowing company’s furious anti-consumerist mini explosion of noise, dry ice and crazed choreography. Xelis de Toro calmed things down with Until the Cows Come Home, in which one man in search of himself follows the call of a cow bell.

It was the final two works that were most affecting. It’s Not Over Yet saw Cultured Mongrel Dance Theatre’s Emma Jayne Park act out a bittersweet comic meditation on being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphona. Finally, in SEX – SEX – SEX, Sara Zaltash gathered some of the audience into a circle for a ritual purging involving Zaltash incanting cut-up lyrics of classic love-lust pop songs in the dark. Illuminated only by body-paint, she pleaded with the audience to discuss and challenge every line. Both performances were fearless examples of a night that dissects body, mind and soul in devastating fashion.

The Herald, May 14th 2018

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…