Exposed

Exposed is one of the slickest productions I have seen. Bursting with energy and hard to categorise - it’s what the Fringe is all about. The choreography is fast, changing and innovative, and video and sound combine with physical theatre and testimonials to create an energy which is electric, almost manic. It is not, however, the easiest to enjoy.

The company are not afraid to challenge their audience. They force us to think about the impulses we stifle and to consider the consequences of relinquishing that control. At one point we are given two minutes to do whatever we want to the actors - two audience members take this opportunity to push cans into the actors’ hands whilst another ties their shoelaces together. Not much else happens, we’re a bit of an inhibited bunch it seems, but you can see how far it could go.

The subject matter is fragmented, touching on the phenomenon of clubs - where people lose control in a designated space and inside a four-hour slot - and on the reckless rush of impulse buying. This is a show which makes you think and dazzles the senses, but sometimes is a little over-manic. It would be improved if the actors could relax a little more into the rhythm of the production.

Although it is intense it does attempts comedy at times, to varying degrees of success. Most effective were the autobiographies: there is a woman who wants to smother her baby to stop the crying, a policeman who has the urge to batter criminals, and a nurse who only stops herself from hitting her colleagues because of the fear of losing her job.

Through all its exploration of societal controls on impulsive behaviour Exposed focuses on the violent and the extreme; we see very few of the innocent, joyful urges which are suppressed, but it works.

For a while the end point isn’t entirely clear, are we being encouraged to release our urges more often? “I have to put all my personal feelings in a sealed jar and do what I’m told” rages the violent policeman. So many of the impulses presented in this production are dangerous, how should we know when to suppress them and when to release them? However, the Impulse Collective aren’t here to tell us the answer to that, they are just posing the question.

Reviews by Charlotte Goodman

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Performances

The Blurb

Fast-paced ensemble performance interrogating impulses in human behaviour. Restrictions are universal - imposed by self and society. Using a mix of physical theatre, verbatim, projection and comedy, we delve deeper into a world where these restrictions are challenged. www.impulsecollective.co.uk

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