About Time You Saw: RoundelayBy Gilly Hopper
How’s your inner tiger tonight?
This is something you NEVER want to hear your nana say because… just no.
Challenging society’s taboos about sex and love in the third age, Visible Theatre’s Roundelay takes an off-kilter approach to love and lust in your later years. Performed by an intergenerational cast of nine, Roundelay is a conglomeration of circus, dance and music. Recognising the need for intimacy at all stages of life, Roundelay fuses circus artistry (read sexual gymnastics) to limber up its viewers. Secrets, lies, memories and fantasies unravel over seven interlinked stories and vignettes of couples.
Photography by John Haynes
Written by Sonja Linden, Roundelay, inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, is a playful and provocative piece. Led by ringmistress Clare Perkins and directed by Anna Ledwich, the work demands and, for the most part, commands our attention. The writing is sometimes domineering and weaker moments of the show are exposed in collective scenes. Medieval dancing, inspired by Le Ronde, adds little to the story – despite perhaps some prescribed circle symbolism.
Still, performers at both ends of the spectrum stood out. Notable performances by Elan James as Daniel and Ann Firbank as Evelyn, provided the shows most intimate and truthful scenes, with vulnerable performances from both. Doreene Blackstock as Gina was another powerful cast member who, despite her late appearance in the show, captivated viewers.
Roundelay circles around a good idea but needs further finessing to hit its target.
At Southwark Playhouse until Sat 18th March 2017