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Small Talk
Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Zoo (venue website)
Dance and Physical Theatre
18-25 Aug, 9:30pm-10:30pm

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

And now for something completely different. We discovered this engrossing, surprising piece of dance theatre at last year’s Brighton Fringe – and following an acclaimed run in London, it’s on its way to Edinburgh for one week only. A solitary woman embodies a whole host of characters, transforming her voice at the same time as she shapes her body, capturing their essence with both her movement and her tone.

Small Talk is founded on a simple but effective gimmick.  Through headphones, performer Antonia Grove listens to a Hollywood actress’s words – and repeats, verbatim but with her own intonation, the monologue in her ears.  But that dry description really doesn’t capture the essence of this unusual show, filled with juxtapositions and contrasts; sometimes sympathetic to the nameless celebrities, but sometimes delivering striking mismatches between their vacuous words and the emotion in front of our eyes.

On the boundary of theatre and dance, Small Talk won’t be for everyone – and back in Brighton, even we felt that it occasionally veered into the inscrutable.  But it’s a daring and memorable work, which you may find stays with you long after the curtain falls.  So, if you don’t mind taking a chance on a show… then take a chance on this one.

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