22 June 2015

Ockham's Razor return to the Rose Theatre for another magical show

Having caught Ockham's Razor almost by accident on their previous on their previous visit to the Rose Theatre I was quick to book to see them on their return.

I would have been even quicker if not for the poor way that the Rose advertises shows that are not its own productions. All there was on the website was a thumbnail picture and the title "Triple Bill" and the emails were much the same. On my initial scan I missed the show and I think it was only thanks to a comment on Twitter that I learned that this was Ockham's Razor and so was a show that I had to see.

They were only playing for a few nights and so I found myself going on a Monday evening, not a usual theatre night. I worked at home that day (often a good idea on a Monday after the pub quiz on Sunday) and that made it an easy walk in to town for the evening show. I timed my walk to get there just before the show started as experience had taught me that there was no point trying to get a drink there beforehand as the queues are too long and the bar staff too few. Something else the Rose had to fix.

I do not understand the pricing policy at the Rose, or even who decides it, but at £10 my seat in my favoured Centre Stalls Row A (47) was a steal. I would not have thought twice at paying double that and would not have had to think for too long to pay more than that.

The arrangements were very different this time. Previously they had performed in the round with the audience free to roam and while that added to the excitement they worked just as well on a traditional stage. There was not a lot on that stage, just their equipment and that was not very substantial.

Ockham's Razor do something unique, as far as I am aware, in producing shows that combine gymnastic skills with the beauty of dance and the structure of story-telling.

The opening piece, Arc, typified all of this. It was performed on a grid suspended above the stage and to make things harder the grid swung and spun. The movement was smooth and balletic rather than energetic and circus-like. The story of the three people stuck together had moments of tension, tenderness and humour - I loved the little section where they played "It".

The photograph was taken at the start of the second half with the piece Every Action that used robes to connect four people. In the simplest form one person going up meant another one coming down. The actions were more complex than that and the four performers moved together in interesting and clever ways.

The final piece was a duet on a trapeze like metal frame. Despite the name, Memento Mori (The Dance of Death) this was a slow and gentle piece where the two people flowed around and over each other beautifully.

The three pieces were quite different in the mood they created and in the equipment they used which all added to the interest and entertainment. I am still not sure how to categorise Ockham's Razor so I will just settle for saying that it is physically clever, visually exciting and thoroughly entertaining.

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