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

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Carla Lane – The Liver Birds, Mersey Beat and Counter Cultural Performance Poetry

Last week's sad passing of TV sit-com writer Carla Lane aged 87 marks another nail in the coffin of what many regard as a golden era of TV comedy. It was an era rooted in overly-bright living room sets where everyday plays for today were acted out in front of a live audience in a way that happens differently today. If Lane had been starting out now, chances are that the middlebrow melancholy of Butterflies, in which over four series between 1978 and 1983, Wendy Craig's suburban housewife Ria flirted with the idea of committing adultery with successful businessman Leonard, would have been filmed without a laughter track and billed as a dramady. Lane's finest half-hour highlighted a confused, quietly desperate and utterly British response to the new freedoms afforded women over the previous decade as they trickled down the class system in the most genteel of ways. This may have been drawn from Lane's own not-quite free-spirited quest for adventure as she moved through h