Pavilion Dance Bournemouth – 20 October. Reviewed by Karen Millington Burnet
Incredible; what a graphic roller-coaster descent from innocent and youthful childhood optimism to bitter manipulation, betrayal and madness.
At first the format – the androgynous Francois Testory alone with his microphone, ever versatile dress and sound engineer – appeared challenging, even shocking, for a fairly middle of the road Bournemouth audience. In fact, we were quickly seduced and drawn into a story of revenge which, as it unfolded, was evidently oh so relevant to the 21st century.
The extravagant gesticulations, the dramatic and evocative sound effects, the smoky haze and the moody lighting conspired to create a tale of genuine horror and banal violence both against Medea and by Medea.
The true magic of the evening has been the ability of Testory to fuse the story of the past with the present. Every day, the news papers are filed with parallel tales, stories which would have been very familiar to the original audience, just as this tale is relevant today. The true tragedy of Testory’s story is that we have learned nothing in the way we treat one another and this performance brings this tragedy to life in spades.
Not a performance for the faint of heart, Testory is a master of his art and this performance, for all it’s brutality, sexual imagery and dark revenge is not an occasion to be missed. Truly a masterful performance, enjoyed by both me – and to my surprise – by my 17 year old niece who genuinely related to the performance and story. Outstanding.