The Forecast is a darling little ditty of
a show that, whilst it may not live up to Marvin and The Cats’ lofty
aspirations of dealing with climate change, certainly reaches fabulous heights
of charming clowning and daring physical prowess.
Set against a swirling background of Turner-esque green,
three moving mannequins take us through the delights of life aboard the cruise
ship ‘The Power of The Seas’ in a massive rush of consumerist ecstasy. But
amongst the cheesy grins and mind boggling luxuries a darker reality rears its
ugly head as these characters are plunged literally out of their depth: a wild
storm wrecks their moving pleasure dome and leaves them adrift on a much ‘cosier’
wooden raft, otherwise known as about eight planks of wood.
It is an intense hour that follows as an impressive sense of
mental disintegration radiates through these fluid performers and turns their
desperation into a tangible nightmare for those watching. At points they seem
so wretched that one feels almost voyeuristic as they backtrack their way from
sophisticated human beings to primates with cannibalistic intentions. But it’s
not all darkness; the whole thing is played out with enjoyable comic élan from
this Jacques Lecoq trained company, making it a strangely
Thom Monckton, Tamsin Clarke and Jay Miller (See Interview, 17 January 2010) are grotesque, sweet, sexual, frenzied, frenetic and manic. They deftly
deliver complexly cartoonish performances that overflow with a childish
exuberance contained within obvious heightened physical control. Moreover, as individualistic
as each of these charming turns is, they are brilliantly attuned throughout. Whether
it is the entwining of creepy hands and bodies, intricate balancing sequences or
moments of synchronisation that echo the shifts and turns of shoals of fish,
Sasha Milavic Davies has choreographed their plight with a heart warming
humanity mingled with an impressive level of mimetic skill.
The Forecast is not a show on climate change
and I think all the better for it; instead it is a piece that focuses with
artistry and empathy on three normal human beings. In begging the question of
what would happen to us if everything was stripped away, it takes its audience
to dark places that somehow resonate for long after the end of this heartfelt
performance. Overarching political message or not, The Forecast
is definitely a must see.