Alex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney
Corn Exchange Newbury
You have to admire the athletic aerial skills and dexterity of the award-winning Ockham’s Razor in their latest show This Time at The Corn Exchange.
The stage had been stripped back to its ‘bare bones' with an inky black shiny floor and black reflective mirrors at the very back of the stage. In the centre, there is an oblong structure suspended from wires, specially designed by the company. It’s used as a mirror or windows and platforms as it soars in the air, twisting and turning, with the actors performing incredible acrobatic acts on it and through it.
The company was formed in 2004 by artistic directors and husband and wife team Alex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney, who are both superbly skilled performers.
It is an intergenerational cast with Lee Carter at 60 being the oldest member and eleven-year-old Charlie Wilson completing the quartet.
What makes this show compelling is the storytelling as each member relates a personal monologue revealing some of their life memories. They sincerely unveil the journey they have taken including the trauma of giving birth and the trials of motherhood to the thrill of playing and the joy of dancing, falling in love and intimacy which contrast with stories of old age, dementia and eventually death.
These are big subjects that are echoed in the aerial sculptures the cast beautifully create. There is a serenity and complete trust as high above us they take turns in supporting each other as they suspend in mid-air. Just as a family would support its members in real life.
Harvey and Mooney are particularly impressive as they hang intertwined above the stage with what appears to be nothing but each other supporting them in a moment of true love and trust.
The company stretches the boundaries between their ages with strong physicality that is a delight to watch.
Composer Max Reinhard together with pianist Chioma Uma have created a moving soundscape and an emotive score. Phil Supple’s dramatic lighting adds a dreamlike quality to this heart-warming production.
This Time leaves you with much to think about in an evening of powerful visual theatre and circus skills.
Reviewer: Robin Strapp