Ockham's Razor and Turtle Key Arts
The Lowry, Salford
Time spent in the company of aerial theatre specialists Ockham’s Razor is never wasted, and in a quietly-incredible 75 minutes they manage to capture the essence of the ageing process itself.
The circus skills of co-founders, and husband and wife, Alex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney are blended with those of 13-year-old Faith Fahy and 60-year-old Lee Carter to devise a physical telling of lives from cradle to grave. It’s an intensely intimate performance of the trademark strength and grace that this unique theatre company brings to all its productions.
This has to be one of the best yet, with its clear narrative formula, and in its ability to push boundaries of both age and what it is possible to achieve in adapting trapeze and balancing skills, often using their own innovative equipment designs.
A simple oblong shape, the height of a human being, becomes a mirror, a gate, a swing, or a spinning aerial apparatus suspended high above the stage, on which each performer twists and turns through the stages of life. There are moments of almost heart-stopping human geometry, all performed with a slow and deliberate precision.
In between, they narrate monologues from the heart of their own lives, embracing birth, motherhood, play, dance, intimacy, dementia, loss and the inexorable march of time towards that same oblong shape that becomes the grave.
If that sounds morbid, it isn’t. This is a life-affirming show, co-commissioned by The Lowry, and ideally framed in the venue’s smaller Quays stage.
Radio presenter and composer Max Reinhardt, with pianist Chioma Uma, has devised an eclectic score, and Phil Supple bathes it all in subtle lighting effects.
The physical interaction between generations creates astonishing theatre, with a level of trust and technique that defies their range of ages.
At the final curtain, the audience let go of their breath and warmly applaud a deeply-moving entertainment.
Reviewer: David Upton