Writer: Thomas Eccleshare
Director: Valentina Ceschi
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
Based on the 14th century poem Pearl, Dancing Brick’s new mixed media piece is a live cartoon about loss, love and obsession. Performed by its writer Perle is bold and beautiful, with Thomas Eccleshare’s outstanding physical work complimented at every turn by Serge Seidlitz’s striking illustrations and Harry Blake’s evocative score.
Reminiscent of Pierrot, Eccleshare’s understated character is both playful and poignant as he conveys his feelings of isolation and grief. With tragedy at its core and only a solo performer and TV to tell the story you could be forgiven for thinking Perle would be a sombre affair, but in fact it is full of gentle humour and comedy. Superbly choreographed sequences have Eccleshare reaching inside the TV to hang up phones and make sandwiches, skilfully blurring the lines between the real and the imaginary, with a steady stream of VHS tapes at the ready to move the story on. There is an element of audience participation, partly because there is next to no spoken dialogue, but Eccleshare immediately puts everyone at their ease and they are quick to join in.
Dancing Brick are definitely a company to keep at least one eye on because their work is always of high quality and shows a distinctive take on the world that is open and guileless. This production is no exception, feeling lovingly created and powerfully affecting. From the obscure opening to the emotive end this performance is somewhat of a rollercoaster, but you will definitely want to come along for the ride.