The Spinners is a collaboration between Lina Limosani of Limosani Projekts as choreographer and Al Seed as director. Readers may remember Al Seed’s tremendous physical theatre show Oog from the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Spinners is an attempt to push physical theatre into dance and drama but unfortunately, though this is a powerful show with many strengths, its lack of subtlety fails to make the grade.
Are they spiders, weavers, slave-labourers, witches or madwomen?
A stunning image of the three Fates opens the show: the performers, one behind the other with arms akimbo suggests a six-legged, three-headed spider with terrifying impact. Lina Limosani, Tara Jade Samaya and Kialea-Nadine Williams, grim-faced, give an impassioned, intense performance. Angular movements spinning, weaving and cutting the thread of life create complex patterns which are utterly absorbing. Particularly arresting is the birth of the thread pulled from the mouth of one of the Fates.
In a suitably claustrophobic set, a cave dripping with green moss and lichen, the three Fates toil at their task of creating and controlling life. We soon realise as the light changes that the growths on the wall of the cave are hanging tassels, symbolizing the souls of the unborn and the dead. As one of the Fates draws her hand across a magic cauldron, to a spooky sound effect, the souls are thrown in, one presumes to be born as this is the cauldron of life.
Are they spiders, weavers, slave-labourers, witches or madwomen? As the show progresses their hair unravels suggesting witches or madwomen, but the repetitive nature of their work is akin to slavery or a modern-day workforce as if they too are trapped. This is an interesting interpretation of the myth and should have added depth to the piece but unfortunately this added twist only creates confusion since the punishment for rebellion by one of the Fates is to be thrown into the cauldron, which one had presumed was a symbol of birth. Has she become mortal and therefore will die? Who knows. The theme is undeveloped and remains a mystery.
The loud and monotonous soundtrack is relentless, the show goes on and on and this reviewer longed for some variety of mood. A shorter, more subtle show with light and shade would have let this reviewer award four stars, but sadly the Sound and Fury, though not quite signifying nothing, was definitely OTT.