24.5.11

'Closure' at the Cochrane Theatre

By complete chance, I happened to be walking past the Cochrane Theatre along Southampton Row and noticed two TVs on the pavement - I realised that I had totally forgotten that the Central Saint Martins 'Performance: Design and Practise' course was holding its annual third year devised performance at the site. Luckily, I was just in time to buy myself a ticket for the 7:30 show - the last performance to ever take place in the site by CSM students - and it didn't disappoint. Entitled 'Closure', unlike the devised performance that I was involved with last year, the current third year students had decided to eschew the site specific and promenade form that we adopted with our 'Demonstration Demolition' piece, and confined themselves to the proscenium arch set up that the Cochrane Theatre confidentally offers. I've inadvertently been following the work of the third year students quite closely, and of all the shows that I've seen them put on this year, I can quite easily say that this was the strongest and the best. 'Closure' was a good title - although the show was made up from many different designers from the course, there was a coherence to the whole show, thematically and tonally. Relation, reliance, resistance and decay were some of the main themes that I drew from the images that played out over the hour. My favourite moments involved the female protagonists who came onto the stage, adopted a pose and then 'bled' what looked like salt from various wounds - simple but incredibly effective and heightened by a thumping bassy heartbeat sound composed by Wei Lou, who was placed off stage seemingly influencing events like some derranged master of ceremonies. A-mazing.

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