Cold Blood
  • By Lynn Rusk
  • |
  • 7th Aug 2018
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Cold Blood is a unique experience of cinema, theatre, dance and music brought to us by Kiss and Cry Collective. It brings us on a journey through time and space and life and death (seven to be exact). The short stories are told using the performers’ fingers and a soothing narrative.

Unlike anything you will have ever seen before and the standing ovation at the end was a testament to the genius of this piece.

The audience’s attention is divided between the cinema screen and the performers, cameramen, lighting technicians and object manipulators scurrying about in a creative flurry on the stage. This piece is a poetic exploration of the miniature, where tiny stage sets appear enormous when projected onto the screen.

The level of imagination, detail and creativity in this show is phenomenal. We are brought on a car journey, to a drive-though cinema, into a strip club, into a lonely apartment complex and into space. The fingers tap dance in the style of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with silver thimbles on their tips. They slide around a pole, they wander through a forest and they caress each other drawing our attention to the intimacy that comes with our sense of touch.

The narrator tells the story of these seven deaths with reflection, honesty and humour. In the dark it is hard to not let the powerful imagery; music and narration wash over you and encourage you to reflect on your own existence.

The creators use water, cotton wool, flowers, smoke machines, and fairy lights to create stunning kaleidoscopic images. In this show, half of your attention is given to the stunning imagery and performance and the other half is spent pondering over the mechanics behind this whole intricate operation.

Cold Blood is unlike anything you will have ever seen before and the standing ovation at the end was a testament to the genius of this piece. However unlike what the title suggests I left this show with a warm heart utterly mesmerised by what I had just experienced.

Reviews by Lynn Rusk

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The End of Eddy

King's Theatre

Cold Blood

Pleasance Courtyard

Nina Conti: In Therapy

Assembly George Square Studios

The Stevenson Experience: Identical as Anything

Assembly Rooms

My Leonard Cohen

Underbelly, Cowgate

Zach Zucker – Human Person




The Blurb

Cold Blood is a remarkable live, feature-length cinema-dance show. It’ll make you smile, laugh, and gasp in amazement. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

A drive-in movie, a war-ravaged city, a space station. An old-time, Fred and Ginger-style tap routine. A night at the ballet. All conjured using an elaborate miniature film set, some tiny props – and a cast of dancing hands.

Brussels-born dancer and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey and Belgian film maker and playwright Jaco Van Dormael collaborate to create a live film before your very eyes – a journey through time and space, through the mind of a woman balanced on the brink of life. Cold Blood is about seven deaths, but it is a celebration of life – of the senses, of the final moments of light, and of the unexpected memories at the moment of passing. 

 With three virtuoso dancers using only their hands, and a crew of film technicians capturing the intricate choreography, exquisite tiny sets and evocative lighting – all projected on a giant screen above the live performers – Cold Blood is a poetic exploration of the miniature. It is poised between tragedy and comedy, tenderness and humour, where fingers intertwine then relax, caress each other then depart. Featuring magical visual creations alongside music by Schubert, Ravel and Gorecki, David Bowie, Janis Joplin and Nina Simone, this is no ordinary night at the theatre. You may never look at your hands in the same way again!

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★★★★ The Telegraph
★★★★★ "a work of huge originality and creativity" Southside Advertiser

A show by Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael and Kiss & Cry Collective

Jaco Van Dormael, Michèle Anne De Mey Directors
Michèle Anne De Mey, Grégory Grosjein Choreographers
Thomas Gunzig Texts
Jaco Van Dormael, Julien Lambert Cinematographers