Out of His Skin

Out of His Skin supposedly tells the tale of a man who, bored with the monotony of everyday life, embarks on a journey to find his place in the world, taking ever increasing risks in search of the next adrenalin high. If you can spot this storyline, I applaud you.

The piece that actually ensues is more akin to a showcase. The dancers perform some incredibly impressive sequences that display spectacular strength. If the aim was simply to demonstrate the dancers’ physical prowess, which is undoubted, then they would have achieved this. However, the narrative is missing in action and without this the hour long display quickly becomes monotonous.

None of this is helped by the bizarre choice of deafeningly loud, largely non-melodic music. The accompaniment contains few noticeable variations in volume or style, subjecting the audience to something similar to the North Korean loudspeaker system: no dials to change channels, and no switch to turn it off. Moreover, rarely does the choreography actually fit with the music, for instance, moments of slightly slower and uncluttered accompaniment are combined by out of place, furious krumping. During the odd moment of unison between movement and music the potential of such a talented group becomes apparent; sadly these glimpses are swamped by the mediocrity of the rest of the piece.

With such handicaps in place the emotion demonstrated on stage doesn’t translate to the audience. The physical effort is clear, as is the frustration the dancers are attempting to portray, but it does not carry across to ensnare the audience’s emotions, and we are left feeling a completely unconnected group of observers.

The biggest frustration of this piece is that the dancing is largely of a very high standard, though synchronicity in group numbers was often a problem. However, this is not enough for a dance show. The lack of clear narrative or purpose and mismatched music and choreography, make it impossible to emotionally connect with the performance. This group is capable of so much more; sadly this piece does them a disservice.

Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

The UK’s leading male company take you on a ride as they search for the next high. Unpredictable, fierce, visceral and tender. A rollercoaster ride of blastingly energetic physicality. ‘They dance like adrenaline junkies’ (Times).

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