The Bluecoat, School Lane
3rd December 2010

Reviewed by Sebastien Gahan

Leftovers are often considered as just that. Unwanted, tarred with the brush of abandonment to the point of being undesirable. Normally a term associated with food, this time it references the slow burning set of performances I witnessed at an excellent show at the Bluecoat.

Opening with the occasionally over repetitive 'She was a Knife Thrower's Assistant', the silence in the possibly overstretched piece was sometimes deafening for this reviewer (although that may be just my feeling as a person who reviews music gigs as well!), but despite this I enjoyed it once the atmosphere settled. Using movement and songs, mostly a capella and sung by the performers themselves, there is a stark simplicity to the choreography and presentation that is sometimes too stark. There are some choice dialogue scenes as well, with quotes such as the darkly comic "some girls have it easy but some girls get knives thrown at them..." and the knowing "knife throwers always know where the danger is!" Overall, it took a while to wash over me but in retrospect it was an enjoyable first part of the show.

The short second part 'Remember When' (featuring performer Marc Brew) was an atmospheric film based piece with occasional live contributions from the artist from the shadows. It was a short but impressive piece and received a rapturous applause from the audience. The highlight of the night, New Beats, followed and it was a dimly lit, smoke filled piece that was beautifully performed by Daniela B Larsen and Petra Soor with an urgency befitting the excellent choreography and subtlety of the music and movement. The disorientating lighting was a treat to be witness to and the somehow I felt a connection to the piece that made me enjoy it all the more.

The final left over was a commission for DaDaFest 10 and featured two of the performers from the previous vignettes, Marc Brew and Caroline Bowditch, in various situations both serious and semi comedic. The fact that both performers are wheelchair bound - although such a term seems somewhat odd considering how free they are in their performance - makes the physical movement all the more precious and especially during a performance utilizing the Nutcracker Suite, where head movement is the only form of movement it was still as entertaining as anything I'd seen the whole evening.

Hopefully, there will be another chance to catch some 'Leftovers' soon, as I only realised just how much I enjoyed the show as a whole a few hours after it had ended. Slow burning, thought-provoking and above all performed with an energy that carried the audience with it all the way!

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