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The Two Wrongies
Published on Thursday, 11 August 2011

5 stars (Critic's Choice)

Assembly George Square (venue website)
3-14, 16-21, 23-29 Aug, 10:30pm-11:30pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.

A few years ago, Brighton-based dancers, Avis Cockbill and Janine Fletcher got together and decided to form… well, exactly what they have formed is tricky to pin down, but The Two Wrongies is the perfect name for it. What they formed is something decidedly wrong. In a very good way.

Take, for example, their ludicrous showstopper: the landlocked, naked synchronised swimmers (the explanation given is that they forgot their costumes but decided to go ahead anyway) performing their routine in nose clips, bathing caps and nothing else, to Bohemian Rhapsody. And, yes, Bohemian Rhapsody is quite a long song.

Cockbill and Fletcher are clearly amazingly skilled. Their abilities as dancers shine through the craziness. They even occasionally produce something that would be an exceptional piece of straight dance theatre – a section where both performers wear the same dress being a clear example.

The finale is eye-popping, taking everything that has gone before to its obvious and slightly horrifying conclusion. But despite how much this section stood out, my favourite piece was the silly sparkly energy of the routine Cockbill claims was her audition for So You Think You Can Dance? As unlikely as that seems, I still really hope it’s true.

Part dance, part physical theatre, part comedy, part burlesque, part radical political statement, part daftness, The Two Wrongies are and mix of the very clever and the very stupid. Their comedy dance morsels could be viewed as a reaction to the silly titillation served up as burlesque. Because a flash of nudity, which might have seemed radical way back in burlesque’s heyday, hardly packs the same punch today, the Wrongies set that to rights by finding a way to dance around starkers.

But that makes it sound worthy and dull, and they’re anything but dull. The inventiveness never lets up. There is a clear vision here, an originality and honesty that shines through the surrealism, and makes it clear that you are watching something special and new.

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