AFTER ALL

Don’t be put off by the topic - this dance show about death is far from gloomy. That opening statement needs some corrections. The show is perhaps better described as a comedy routine – or maybe a drama, which includes a filmed section – or maybe confessional story telling; with some mime – plus dance sequences. You could say it is about funerals rather than death, although death inevitably figures. It is about grief, family, memory, vanity and modesty; death and affirmation.

Enough charm to power an ocean liner, and the comic timing of a precision watch

This may sound cluttered, and although the show appears discursive, everything is carefully plotted and the performer carries the whole thing off with complete clarity. Usefully, Solène Weinachter has enough charm to power an ocean liner, and the comic timing of a precision watch.

The show is based on the stories of three funerals - Uncle Bob’s, Grandmother’s, and Solène’s own. Uncle Bob’s hilarious/ horrible service is the springboard for Solène’s meditation on what a good funeral should be. How do you arrange your life to get a good eulogy? Is death simply a full stop with no relevance to life?

The whole hour is filled with humour - often taking the comic equivalent of Mission Impossible, but instead of taking a situation and adding suspense on top of suspense, this show takes a situation and piles joke on top of joke. There are also moments of theatrical dare-devilry. Is she really going to get away with that? …Yes, she does!

In the dance sequences, Solène is too intelligent and self aware to avoid self-parody. However, this makes the moments when parody falls away only more moving: for example, as she relives the spontaneous, improvised joyous rites of her Grandmother's wake.

Granny and Uncle Bob are alive in Solène’s memory: and so become alive on stage and now in the audience's memory.

This sophisticated, imaginative, comic and thoughtful show is a meditation of death, but also an affirmation of life – life continuing in adventure, humour and excitement.

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Reviews by Mark Harding

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A celebration of our vulnerable and courageous existence, Solène melds dance, comedy, storytelling and theatre to ask – what happens in the end? Through a series of impassioned re-enactments of the funerals of those she's loved – as well as imagining her own – Solène attempts to conjure a better space to be with death, dying and loss. A heartfelt exploration of the death rituals we have; the ones lost and those that need invented. Joyously bringing us together to explore the role that dancing might play in healing. Programmed by Dance Base in collaboration with Assembly. MadeInScotlandShowcase.com

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