“All stages of life are shown with powerful movement, intense sounds and emphasised by the lighting design.”

A piece which started life on zoom in 2020 is now brought to life in a stunning, thought provoking piece from Nova Grace Productions. 

Performed in the round with audience on each side, as soon as entering the venue (a converted church building – now a gallery) the performance begins, the dark corners of the room adding to the illumination of 4 large door frames and bedding on the floor you get a sense of the performance ahead but also a sense of trepidation, much like we had in 2020. 

The show begins with a projection at the back of the stage of the virtual performance of the piece which was performed in December 2020 over zoom. The dancers in the room come to life and dance in sync with themselves on screen, though this time the dancers in the room are standing in bedsheets, a visual representation of the restriction and feelings of being trapped.

Choreographer Karen Hill takes us on a journey we’ve all already been on but each in a different way. We follow the stages of the Covid-19 pandemic through lockdown, opening up, loss and love. 

We journey through the first stages of lockdown, where for creatives in particular there was a feeling of fear, sadness and often being like a caged animal trying to escape which is shown well here in this piece.

As we move forward we see the return to work for some, the worry of going back to normal life, the joy of being able to see friends again. A beautiful moment takes place when all 4 dancers hold hands and walk toward the back of the stage, representing the support and love we had not yet seen in the piece. All stages of life are shown with powerful movement, intense sounds and emphasised by the lighting design.

4 exceptional dancers – Syanne Day, Jo-Anna McGregor, Em-j Smith & Melanie Cox  work wonderfully together to show us this story. They all gel together perfectly, complimenting each others performances. In particular Melanie Cox stands out using her whole body to show us the full range of emotions in the piece, drawing us in to her world and moving us emotionally. 

This piece serves as a reminder of the things we went through over a 2 year period and reminds us of the things we felt important at the time; showing support for our NHS, our friends and family and of course...toilet roll. It perfectly encaptures the feelings of that time and feels very validating that we weren’t alone in the things we dealt with.

This show was reviewed on the 26th May 2023 at the Brighton Fringe.  Further details of Nova Grace Productions here: Nova Grace Productions

Review written by Rosie Browne


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