Invisible City, Chapter

February 13, 2015 by

It takes courage to perform a one-man/woman show. All artists are vulnerable and it’s just you and your vulnerability out there. Lowri Jenkins is an astute performer, she has also written the show. Her alter ego is Marie a young woman who has moved up to the big city from a country village. Her isolation is highlighted by the continuing surreal conversation she has with a supermarket self-service till. Another continuing motif is the repeated concerned calls she receives from her mother. Marie has cut the apron strings and wishes to be left to her own devices but she lets her mum down gently.

In the opening low light we see the back of a still, young woman in a short figure-hugging, grey dress and grey tights,  a resonating voice-over sets the ‘ordinariness’ of the scene.  Once the lights brighten we meet Marie, a wide-eyed, seemingly innocent creature, out for the first time in the big bad world. She is bewildered by the vast supermarket and its high, packed shelves. She has an altercation beside the potato rack, they spill out on to the floor, she falls among them, trying to rescue them.

Described as a cross-disciplinary performance, Director/Choreographer Jennifer Fletcher introduces movement that underlines Marie’s isolation. Things improve among the potatoes. She clutches one, they kiss and soon Fletcher’s choreography has them writhing ecstatically on the supermarket floor.

Sadly this newfound passion doesn’t seem to develop. The show proceeds for its lightly engaging hour with more expressions of searching, of discovering the traumas of everyday city life and not quite overcoming them. And mum still worried and still keeping in touch, thanks to that marvellous modern invention, the mobile phone.

There is a deceptive simplicity surrounding this production, the minimal scenery by Buddug Jones and the wide-eyed innocent character that Jenkins creates is all so convincing and although it captivated the packed audience, its engagement was light and its content thin. However the energy and delight gave the experiences a certain charm despite it somewhat lacking

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