The Woman and the Canvas
Theatre Re and Fourth Monkey
In the empty space of theSpace Triplex's main space, an artist named Anna stands before a blank canvas, gently cajoled by a therapist to "try something new". We are plunged into the inner turmoil of her mind as the stage is filled by a seemingly endless parade of figures, archetypes and representations of the fragmented memories, ideas and thoughts spinning through her mind.
It's like a fever dream, as the movement, percussing beats and flurries of movement build and build, telling a strangely abstracted narrative, touching on her childhood sadnesses, moments of snatched romance, bitter emnities and fears in a sometimes feral display and cacophany of thrumming bodies.
Fourth Monkey and Theatre RE have plundered the artistic depths and strengths of their respective companies to create a dazzling display of storytelling that is comprehensible through the throng of the thirty or so performers who crowd the dancefloor, flitting and arcing across one another in a beautiful ballet of joyful madness, which can't fail to amaze.
The Woman and the Canvas is exquisitely formed and perfectly executed, a fitting tribute to the companies involved, as well as a meditation on art that can be felt by anyone who has felt the trembling terror of a blank page.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan