WhatsOnStage Logo

House on the Edge (Ipswich, DanceHouse)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
WhatsOnStage logo
Anyone who lives anywhere near the East Anglian coast – or indeed further north right up to Yorkshire – knows how much of it is lost to the North Sea every year. Not just individual houses but whole villages have been devoured over the centuries by the waves when storms rage. That's the situation in which the characters created by writer Anna Selby and director-choreographer Heather Eddington find themselves in State of Flux's new collaborative dance drama.

It's an effective piece with a marvellous design of a corner-poised house facade with eroding foreground floor by Sarah Beaton set off by Magali Charrier's sky and sea animations and the atmospheric score by Matt Hodges. Ann Dickie is the woman who now feels marooned in the seaside home which was once a love-nest created for her by her man (husband? lover?) (Nicholas Minns) and now threatens to become a death-trap.

Narrator Pradeep Jay also plays well-meaning officialdom concerned to rescue and rehouse the couple an an altogether more sinister visitor from the man's past. There are many ways in which to escape from external pressures, and leaving it up to nature is just one option. In between the spoken passages Dickie and Minns circle each other, share moments of remembered pleasure and divide on the issue of their future.

It would be good to see an after-life for this piece; it's a great deal better than some of the works-in-progress which litter the fringe festival circuit between now and Edinburgh. With a running time of just under an hour, it has such a strong visual and audio impact that it's difficult to think of something with which it might be paired. But that's a problem for theatre programmers, not for their audiences.


Tagged in this Story