Touring Dance Theatre
A delicious romp of a show inspired by the tapestries of Grayson Perry, and relishing in our national obsessions with social class and the cultural extremities of food, fashion and style.
Blending theatre, dance, writing and music and brought to you by choreographers Sally Knight (Cscape) and Neil Paris (Smith Dance/Fabulous Beast) with writing by Murray Lachlan Young (BBC Radio), TASTE explores what defines our identity and ponders the intricacies behind our choices. A dance show with a difference that’s as refreshing as a nice cup of tea!
Choreography Sally Knight (Cscape) and Neil Paris (SMITH dancetheatre / Fabulous Beast)
Performed and devised Tom Jackson Greaves, Jessamin Landamore, Sioda Martin – with additional performances by Chris Bradley
Original Music Nathaniel Reed (Panta Rei)
Writing Murray Lachlan Young (BBC Radio 4 / Resident Poet, BBC6 Music)
Associate Director Simon Harvey (o-region / Kneehigh)
Rehearsal Director Simon Birch (Simon Birch Dance / Dance Republic 2)
Designer Fiona Chivers
Lighting Designer Martin Fenton
This show has been marketed as being inspired by the social politic tapestries of Grayson Perry, but the real jumping off point here is a classic comedy skit from the Sixties. The “class sketch” featuring John Cleese, Ronnies Barker and Corbett is “remixed” for a 21st century audience by Cornwall’s Cscape dance company and the end result is a triumph.
Incorporating wonderfully wry poems on what it is to be British by Murray Lachlan Young intoned by the man himself, original music by Nathaniel Reed alongside some classics, and choreography by Cscape’s artistic director Sally Knight and Neil Paris, this is far more than a contemporary dance show.
It’s an insightful, highly amusing, biting and, at times, upsetting satire on class and taste.
That it works so brilliantly is down to its cast, whose own stories inform Taste – Cornwall’s rising star of many a Matthew Bourne production, Tom Jackson Greaves (who appears upper class because he comes from this bucolic county, but reverts to working class when we discover he’s from Bodmin … sorry, Bodmin); Jessamin Landamore (who, of course, is upper class due to that first name, but works as a poorly paid dancer so drops several rungs); and Sioda Martin (comes from Barnsley, working class, works in the arts, middle class).
There’s much frivolity involving cups of tea, dinner parties and posh bon viveurs, but then it unexpectedly hits hard.
Greaves morphs into a swaggering, sovereign ring-adorned council estate scruff … it’s soon apparent that his ill-ease on a nightclub dancefloor mirrors his trauma as a young soldier in a war-zone. I never thought Donna Summer’s I Feel Love could sound so harrowing.
Landamore’s turn as a high-born fallen low is equally moving.
There’s a lot more to love in this mesmerising show, but I suggest you see Taste before at one of the remaining dates in our county.
If there was ever a Cornish production which deserves to follow forebears such as Kneehigh on to the national stage, it’s this one.