Maltby St, including the St John Bakery that, hitherto, I had only read about on Spitalfields Life.) Bermondsey is not only 'up and come', it seemed to be pulsating with confidence and a sense of its own coolness.
We stepped into the biscuit factory through a very unassuming door and found ourselves in a plywood labyrinth which reduced the very high ceilings of the space down to human height. It most reminded me of the temporary structure built to house Peter Blake's pop-up Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill last year. That's the trouble with novel experiences, these days we're exposed to such a rich mix of thrills and novelties, in an effort to engage our jaded minds, that it's hard to find a space in our heads where things feel truly fresh. The main 'point' of The Architects is, I think, to disorient and bewilder, to give the audience a bit of a spooky frisson, but, although I really wanted to be spooked, I just stayed ploddily unmoved, which made me feel disappointed in myself, my leadenness -- presumably this was not really the idea.
I don't want to give too much away about the production as any potential for thrilling that it has will be eroded by people knowing too much about what to expect. It's a very strange, incoherent riff on the myth of the Minotaur but perhaps also an attempt to create a Ship of Fools. And it includes a long speech about architecture which doesn't seem to relate to very much else that's going on. And there was some darkness and some bizarre tableaux and then it was over. No one told us it was over and there was no applause. We just kind of seeped away by silent consent. I couldn't help wondering if we had been a particularly lumpen, unresponsive audience or whether it's the same at each performance: people bemused, keeping themselves to themselves in case some sort of outrage is perpetrated against them. The only 'outrage' was a kiss, but I'm saying too much. The cow with the velvet insides at the top of the post was a prop which referred to Pasiphae's predilections from which the Minotaur resulted...
So while I feel confident in voicing my misgivings about the Shunt piece (though this interview fills in some of the blanks), when it comes to ballet I'm the critical equivalent of a naive child. Something like this:
|from a wonderful set of photos here|