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Pulse 2012. The first full week. Day four

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It’s billed as a work-in-progress but Morgan Lloyd-Malcolm’s The Wasp is one of those rarities which –even in an embryonic stage – leaves you impatiently asking “what happens next?” Two women, who were at school together a long time ago, meet in a coffee bar. Their lives have followed different paths; the one with a childless marriage which has brought a comfortable lifestyle, the other with a feckless partner and a cascade of children.

Old times and present troubles bubble up and seethe through their conversation. Then an offer is made, a bargain may yet be struck. That’s where Lloyd-Malcolm and her director Clare Dun leave it – with the audience on tenterhooks to know the outcome. Katie Lyons plays Carla and Charlotte Melia is Heather. They contrast well, and you can believe in the edginess of this new relationship and also that they may once indeed have been class-mates – but never friends.

Thre’s a strand running through this year’s Pulse which might be described as lecture-theatre. Jon Spooner of Unlimited Theatre is writer, performer and co-director of The Ethics of Progress, which evolves from an illustrated discourse on quantum physics (no, I still don’t understand them do you?) to quite a wide-ranging and very serious discussion of how knowledge and invention can be harnessed equally for good and for ill. The smartly-projected designs and visuals are by Mic Pool and Andy Edwards.

Tgen there’s Cutting the Cord from Flying Eye. This tells the story of a young Jpanese woman (Sachi Kimara) who has left her own country for a new life in London but finds that, when called back home as her father is seriously ill, that her two separate existences collide. It’s intriguingly enough staged by Matt Spencer – part promenade performance overlaid with pared-down symbolism – with live music from Daniel Marcus Clark, dance elements and some interesting lighting effects conjured up by Kristina Hjelm. But I’m not sure that I could believe in it.


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