Last week I visited Chelsea Theatre for the second night of its SACRED season. And as I arrived at the World’s End location, I had plainly forgotten the cardinal rule of this venue: banish all sense of expectation because yet again I was in for another refreshing surprise.
The evening began with a 10-minute live art piece in the theatre’s foyer. The visual vignette explored an individual’s quest to unravel her path of a coiled rope, only to become entangled and troubled by what seemed like a simple task.
Upstairs, in front of a thrust stage trimmed in silver, an audience gathered as if they were a crowd congregating at a gig. The female singer in her peroxide bob and sequinned hot pants catsuit lip-synced to Elvis Presley, mingled with the audience and fought with her only band member. The performance duo, otherwise known as Action Hero, took its audience on a journey from laughter to discomfort, rage and finally a state of peace in this production entitled Frontman.
After the interval, we were led back into the foyer where Dorothy’s Shoes was ready to take the audience Flying Down To Rio. Two installations residing in separate rooms provided the pre-show entertainment whilst the main performance started with a Fred & Ginger inspired dance routine and continued on a journey through the history of Brazilian dance pieces, until the present day. The two main performers Dorothy’s Shoes and Champagne Charlie also provided laughter whilst involving the audience in some of the dance routines and carnival dressing up.
Yet again, Chelsea Theatre broke down the barriers of theatricality to push its audience further into the performance experience. It allowed us to question our position in relation to the artists and to become involved at our own discretion; plenty of fun.