Ketzal

The performance begins in what appears to be a prison camp. A number of dancers are dressed in white, lying on the floor. From there they move into a huge black bin bag where they are seen, apparently naked, through a window. Eventually they emerge through the window and it can be seen that all the cast have cropped heads and are wearing thongs or briefs; occasionally they also wear black plastic bags. In the next scene they have beaks then one who also has an enormous phallus climbs a gantry and mates with another ‘bird’. Further scenes include six performers bent double, scuttling around the stage on their hands and feet and a woman wearing a long green skirt surrounded by other women (or men) dressed head to toe in robes, each robe a different colour.

Eventually, in a spectacular finale, the stage is flooded to make an indoor lake. The performers throw themselves into the water and glide across the stage. Be warned that anyone sitting in the front row may get splashed. A huge red hemisphere appears at the back of the stage and is reflected in the water – a giant setting sun.

The production is very clever and the performers are clearly extremely talented. The new musical score by British composer Daniel Williams works very well. The problem for me is that I have no idea what it is all about. The cropped heads and minimal costumes are very unattractive and the dancing is mostly squirming and hopping. However, on the day that I went there was an extremely large audience, most of whom were very enthusiastic, so clearly they got much more out of it than I did. One for the fans or anyone who is prepared to experiment.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

Secret Garden

★★★★

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The Blurb

Aurora Nova @ St Stephen’s, 4-28 August 3.00pm (1 hour 20 minutes). Not Tuesdays.

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