Smother

Hip Hop is a strange medium with which to tackle the homosexual experience. It’s a genre that’s steeped in anti-gay rhetoric and misogyny with ‘gayness’ being viewed as something to be disrespected and even destroyed. This show by choreographer and director Andrea Walker has taken the music and dance of this genre and created a beautiful love letter to, well, love.

If you want a show that encompasses the range of human emotion on a visceral level then Smother is the show for you.

More importantly, it’s love where gender is irrelevant; we principally follow the story of two young men who encounter each other and engage in a typical relationship with the highs and lows that we all experience but there’s also a beautiful side plot where we see two women have their similar but different love affair.

Smother features spectacular dance and a fantastic soundtrack of kick-ass tunes. The dynamic choreography is exhilarating and sensual with moments for each of the incredibly strong cast to shine. There’s careful use of light and darkness with the dancers often performing in very low light or moving through harsh spotlights. Chalk dust or talcum powder is used sparingly throughout the show and it creates an ethereal aura around the dancers. The emotional hit is palpable and anyone who has ever been in love will relate to the experiences portrayed onstage. There’s everything the soaring heights of passion to the awkward fumbling of lust and the audience whoop, cheer and holler along with the beat.

Dance can be a hard sell at the Fringe with so much theatre, comedy and circus to engage your attention but if you want a show that encompasses the range of human emotion on a visceral level then Smother is the show for you.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

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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Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘Unparalled beauty... a striking dystopian fairytale reminiscent of Jamie Brittain's Skins’ ***** (EdFestMag.com). Can you stay true to yourself, when everything suggests you change? 201’s raw, contemporary hip hop returns in Smother: a story of two men's broken encounter. Returning after a sold out Edinburgh Fringe 2015 and acclaimed international tour, this groundbreaking production touches on themes of addiction, obsession and commitment. Choreographer Andrea Walker directs a cast of seven dancers in a fast-paced, intimate performance, exploring the relationship of two young men. ‘Outstanding choreography… Powerful and relatable’ ***** (Edinburgh49.org). ‘Visually stunning... Walker has struck gold’ **** (BroadwayBaby.com).

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