Bare Threads

Aug 18 2017 | By More

★★★☆☆  Expressive experimentation

theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39): Mon 14 – Sat 19 Aug 2017
Review by Hugh Simpson

Bare Threads, Theatre Paradok’s production at theSpace on Niddry Street, is often fascinating and occasionally beautiful.

A wordless piece of physical theatre and dance, it explores our relationship with our clothes through dressing and undressing.

A scene from Bare Threads. Pic: Andrew Perry

The production certainly sets its stall out early on with a profoundly silly striptease routine, leaving the seven cast members on stage in flesh-coloured underwear. The combination of confidence and sheepishness displayed is echoed by the contrasting nature of the pieces which follow.

Two couples, one tender and romantic, one fierce and possessive, feature in separate dance pieces. There is a gleeful piece with a pair of jeans that won’t go on, a commuter is caught with his trousers down, a discarded top becomes the focus for anger and mourning.

The cast – Cameron Banks, Adela Brianso, Lucy Davidson, Maddie Haynes, Trevor Lin, Daniele Silvan and Tiffany Soirat – combine a confident physicality with expressive connection with each other and the audience.

The scenes that are closest to pure, abstract dance are the most effective – Sarah Lamb and Maddie Flint’s direction is particularly strong here. Not everything else works as well, with some of the pieces being extremely slight, and not all of the timing as exact.

This means that as a work of physical theatre it is not completely cohesive, and the overarching meaning is not so strong. Even in a short show, there are moments that drag, with Oliver Perrott-Webb’s music, effective at first starting to sound samey after a while.

As a spectacle, however, this has much to recommend it – brave, playful and compelling.

Running time 50 minutes (no interval)
theSpace on Niddry Street (Venue 9), Niddry Street, EH1 1TH
Monday 14 – Saturday 19 August 2017
Daily at 5.20 pm
Book tickets on the Fringe website:
Company website:
Facebook: @TheatreParadok
Twitter: @TheatreParadok


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