Pavilion Theatre Worthing
27th and 28th June 2018
Block – Motionhouse | Review
“Have you felt them? They’re really heavy!”
Well, if you’re going to leave your set unattended post-show, small children are going to start exploring it….and some rather bigger children too…
Block is the latest work from Motionhouse and NoFit State Circus, and I have to say this one was right up my street. A fusion of dance, acrobatics, physical theatre and parkour. The seven cast members emerge from a stack of six-foot grey blocks and begin to explore their new habitat. It’s one giant Jenga game, played vertically, horizontally, and sometimes cascadingly!
I’m afraid I really must take a moment though to have a little whinge about the Pavilion Theatre’s lack of raked seating – all but the first two rows have severely reduced viewing. Fortunately, two elements were on my side this time; firstly, I had a back-row ticket, meaning I could join my audience-neighbours in sitting on top of an upright seat, and secondly, a good deal of Block happens above six-feet (although I advise nabbing those front row seats early for future shows!)
There are well-placed peaks throughout the action of the piece, so the pace is easy to follow. The building of the giant Jenga tower (well-played, Motionhouse, we were all waiting for it) will have you captured. Meanwhile, the dancers themselves (or are they acrobats? Their skills are myriad, it’s hard to tell) seem to enjoy the challenge of leaping from block to human to block again – cast member Onyemachi Ejimofor in particular seems to be having a whale of a time dancing on a half-placed block in the Jenga tower. The story is a little hard to follow at times – are they trapped? Are they playing? My Italian is rusty, but I’m fairly sure Laksmi Arco Valnei is attempting to tell his fellow cast members that it is all a game, a joke. Nevertheless, the sheer power and variety of the movement is more than enough to keep you hooked.
Block is a wonderful work, particularly for fans of dance, circus, or any manner of cross-over. I could sing its praises for days, not to mention go into far too much detail concerning movement phrases and choreographic techniques….a better idea would be to go and catch it for yourself.
Reviewer: Jemma Gould
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Block at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
27th and 28th June 2018. Further tour dates available at https://www.motionhouse.co.uk/production/block/
Created and directed by Kevin Finnan
Original concept, design and production by Ali Williams
Circus direction by Paul Evans