Squish Squared

Conceived and choreographed by Tony Mills

Room 2 Manoeuvre

ZOO Grange

From 14 August 2015 to 23 August 2015

Rating: ***

Review by Liam Blain

Squish Squared takes a well choreographed physical theatre piece and turns it into a gimmick at Zoo Grange.

As with every Fringe Festival, venues pop up all over the place around the city, from toilet cubicles to double decker buses. However this year, off the common festival beaten track, the Grange Club at Stockbridge is host to Room 2 Manoeuvre's new production Squish Squared.

Set on the club squash courts, the performance is stunningly choreographed, if slightly confused. Two young professionals (Joshua Smith and Oliver Russel), each carrying a briefcase, enter the court and immediately begin a high-energy dance piece depicting a friendly rivalry.

They race against each other, see who can stretch the furthest and jump through tight spaces, all interspersed with some beautiful simultaneous work together. However, the question must be raised as to why the piece was set on the squash court in the first place.

The sport is rarely mentioned within the choreography nor alluded to through the dancer's smart outfits. The piece is advertised using the phrasing "squash and dance collide" but the only real squash based ingredient in this production's messy formula is the fact it is set within a working sports facility.

The option to take part in a squash workshop after the show feels more like a last ditch attempt to link the production to its surroundings than a way of creating discourse around the theme. This certainly doesn't take away from the fantastic work in the playing area but with great tech and superb lighting this production could be taken to a whole new level.

Both comical and moving, the piece, running at only thirty minutes, feels slightly too short as it picks you up in a whirl of excitement but concludes just as you are getting to grips with the thrilling nature of the performance.

Additionally, the music within the piece by Get the Blessing and Polar Bear fits perfectly with the striking nature of the movement and at moments of great tension really adds a new layer of emotion to the piece.

Squish Squared is certainly not a performance to be dodged this Fringe, but with less of a sporting atmosphere and more theatrical magic this production could easily hit the top spot.