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600 Seconds: Moves - The Blue Room Theatre (Summer Nights)

Reviewed by Rachel Doulton


The Blue Room Theatre Summer Night’s Festival brings you a new partnership with Strut Dance with 600 Seconds - Move. This show takes the familiar format of 600 Seconds that we already know but is dedicated to movement and dance. Each of the five multi-sensory pieces takes us through differing and innovative concepts curated by co-directors James O’Hara and Sofie Burgoyne.

The sixty minutes started strongly with The Scramble, a compelling duo of men exploring the struggle to find connectedness and intimacy. The only sound was of their breaths of exertion as they wrestled and play-fought each other resisting then succumbing and resisting again. Their love shared is open to interpretation but I preferred to see it as the fraternal love between men as friends with the desperation for comfort and intimacy of deep friendship but the expectation of machismo getting in the way. The piece is beautiful and poignant and its simple lighting and lack of music only added to the raw authenticity of how men navigate the codes of touch and intimacy in their relationships with other men.

The next piece, Moving Words, was a solo piece of movement mixed with loops of voice. During the piece, the audience is invited to write or draw whatever is inspired by the work on stage with a pen and card provided at the start. The format was novel, however, the overall concept felt removed from any narrative or theme that could be grasped and a little superficially indulgent.

Jiarui Lin presents our third work The Mist where he happens upon a fog and is compelled to unravel it regardless of whether he can bear its truth. The evolution and discovery performed by Lin were mesmerising. He synchronised wonderfully with the music and the lighting design was a stunning use of differentiating space within the fog and out.

The show was bookended with another strong piece titled Echoes of Expansion. Landscapes were explored through the use of projections moved around the space by the performers. The concept explores the rhythmic nature of different spaces and how they affect our trajectories. The projection being the only source of light led to an interesting use of shadow as the performers moved through the different locations. The soundscape was beautifully crafted with a mix of music and nature. The piece felt informed by an ancient knowledge that we were privileged to bear witness

This initiative was a delight to witness as someone not as exposed to dance and movement as theatre. Once again The Blue Room Theatre succeeds in drawing audiences to new art forms and 600 Seconds is perfectly bite-sized exposure therapy.

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Reviewer Note: Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.


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