EX by Skewed Visions

26 Oct

If you’ve been through the collection of the Walker Art Center looking for the brightest and flashiest pieces, you would have walked right past Robert Gober’s sculpture, Untitled Door and Door Frame. An ordinary, white painted door frame opens up into a small, fluorescent-lit room, where the companion piece, the door itself, leans up against the back wall. You would walk past and miss it, but it’s worth stepping in to. The combination of the light, the white door on the white wall, the milky translucence of the paint, all lend themselves to a ghostly, slightly ethereal feeling, but the smallness of the room, the buzz of the closeness of your body with others make it a visceral moment.

Ex-couch

This is a similar experience to EX, the new work by Charles Campbell produced by Skewed Visions at the California Building. EX is a quiet and meditative work, but one filled with palpable physicality, humanity and significance. The audience is seated in the center of the raw studio space, while the performers – Annie Enneking, Megan Mayer, Billy Mullaney and Campbell – move around the room. The props are simple, mundane – door, similar to Gober’s door, an office chair, a coffee table, a couch, picture frames, a strongbox – but become representative presences throughout the show. The sensation of breathing next to people, with the lights up, the performers’ breathes and footfalls, all of these things come together to heighten reality and our own awareness of our living body.

The impetus for EX came from grief. In the course of a year, Campbell lost his mother to Alzheimer’s and his sister to cancer. But with it’s dance sequences, non-linear or narrative structure and visual gags, EX isn’t maudlin or saccharine. Campbell and his collaborators have a history and trust together that lets them take a light touch with heaviness. There is something important, and lovely, that in a work about personal loss, the performers who helped create the show are trusted, long-standing collaborators, a nod to the families that we make for ourselves to see us through life.

The levity of certain moments, the variations on repeated patterns, silence, they all combine to occasional devastating effect. Mayer* carrying Mullaney, thin, with a shaved head in an oversized white T-shirt may be the most tragic thing you see on stage this year. The refrain of “Get. The fuck. Away!” is resonant as a reaction for self preservation, even from ourselves. The dance sequences of punctuated physicality leave questions about what is and out of frame, how tangled up are we in our everyday things, how do we share with others?

On the site for EX, Campbell has written a few notes about the work:

It’s not an epic story of human struggle.
It’s not a political parable for our times.
It’s not about you and your family.
It doesn’t speak from the heart.
It won’t make you feel better about yourself.
It won’t stay long.

The only one I know for sure is true is that it won’t stay long – EX closes November 1. So make some space for yourself to see the show. Take deep breaths, get into the room and hold it for an hour.

*A previous version of this post identified Campbell as the one carrying Mullaney. I spent a lot of time in show thinking about how each performer was channeling both Campbell and his family at various points, so, mission accomplished, I guess.

Next at the Cake Shop: Kickin’ Ass and Takin’ Names

15 Sep

We’re taking a little hiatus from our hiatus to bring you something completely different. On Sunday, September 21st, the Cake Shop presents Kickin’ Ass and Takin’ Names, a wild one-man show from Seth Lepore. It’s pretty impossible to tell what might happen in this partially rehearsed, part improvised, hilariously stream-of-consciousness show, so Aisle Say Twin Cities will have to say it for us: “Sometimes the scene itself is funny; sometimes it is the randomness and sheer absurdity. And very frequently, it’s just because Lepore has a great stage presence, and has such an intensely physical style that it’s impossible to stop staring at him.”

There you have it. Come stare at Seth Lepore in our living room. Get your tickets here.

Kickin-Ass-Web-Photo-876x1024

Paul McCartney at Target Field

3 Aug

You guys, Paul McCartney is kind of magical.

I mean, he’s a Beatle, and the Beatles are, in the words of Chuck Klosterman, a “perfectly rated” band. We all generally agree that they made some of the greatest popular music ever, and that consensus is true. He could, at age 72, approach touring with a laissez-faire kind of attitude, and we’d probably say, “Wow, it was great just to be able to see him before he kicked off.” He could, we would, but he doesn’t, so we don’t have to.

Instead we get almost 3 hours of nonstop action, from the Beatles songs that are scratched into our souls to Wings hits to new stuff that pops. We get eye-jiggling, gleefully-giggling, hip-wiggling wonder and joy. We get energy, anecdotes and fireworks. McCartney doesn’t put on an impressive show for a 72 year-old, he puts on an impressive show, full stop. I’d say young bands should learn from him, but they also don’t have a 50 year catalog of hits to pull from, so that’s probably not fair. McCartney is out of this world great.

Saturday night at Target Field, it was all on display, from the classics of “All My Lovin’,” “Day Tripper” and “Yesterday,” to the heart-breakingly beautiful takes of “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Blackbird,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Let It Be” to the full-throttle, pyromaniac heaviness of “Live and Let Die,” “Back in the USSR” and “Helter Skelter” to the crowd singalongs of “Band on the Run,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Hey Jude.” The new tracks, off the aptly titled New, like “Save Us,” Queenie” and “New” held up as well, bouncing along with Macca’s verve and glee.

At some point into the second encore (there would be threeAfter seeing the setlist, there were only 2 encores. “Only.”) I thought to myself, “This has to end sometime, but I really hope it doesn’t.” I would have been happy for Paul to just sit down and start jamming out on new tracks if he’d wanted. But the night did have to end, and when it did, the phenomenal band closed out with “Golden Slumbers,” a song with perhaps the perfect coda to a concert so full of generous spirit and creative energy – “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” We got so much, and gave it right back. Let’s do it again soon.

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Paul McCartney – Paperback Writer [Partial] from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

Paul McCartney – Blackbird from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

Paul McCartney – Something from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

Macca – fireworks! Fire! Paul! from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

Paul McCartney – Yesterday from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

photo(7)

Rock the Garden 2014

24 Jun

Review by Pat O’Brien

Saturday’s photography by Jenna Klein & Sunday’s photography by Mark Kartarik

This past weekend Rock the Garden once more took place, but for the first time it spread the wealth over two days—with scant, if any, growing pains to be had in the process. Saturday went off without a hitch weather-wise, and while rain threatened for a bit on Sunday (and even gently showered during Valerie June’s southern-fried, neat-as-a-pin set, the rock gods must have brokered a truce with the weather gods, leaving the crowd dry for the remainder of the day.

SATURDAY

David Campbell & Barb Abney

David Campbell & Barb Abney

 

What worked: Starting off with Lizzo’s 45-minute, atom bomb of a set was precisely the proper intro to the weekend. Nobody’s hotter locally right now and it’s no accident. The former Melissa Jefferson is on her way up at break-neck speed and her set mirrored that. Frenetic but on point for the entire time, Lizzo seems about six months from superstardom.

Lizzo

Lizzo

 

Lizzo & members of GRRRL Party

Lizzo & members of GRRRL Party

 

What worked: Hometown boy made good: Local vintage-dusted pop-rocker Jeremy Messersmith had the distinction of having the weekend’s biggest entourage on stage with him and didn’t disappoint with a tight, rollicking set that had him revisiting many high points of his career thus far (and there are plenty to choose from), as well as showcasing some newer material. He’s always a treat, but Messersmith really put together a tight set for what was his biggest crowd to date.

Jeremy Messersmith

Jeremy Messersmith

 

Jeremy Messersmith

Jeremy Messersmith

 

What didn’t work: Best Coast’s set, while appropriate for Saturday’s late-afternoon sun, seemed to drag on forever. They have an amusing shtick, but it’s best taken in bite-sized pieces—an hour-long set of three-chord, mid-tempo stoner pop gets old fast. Cosetino’s voice eventually becomes about as interesting as an oscillating fan and twice I found myself asking, “Didn’t they play this song already?”

Best Coast

Best Coast

 

Best Coast

Best Coast

 

What worked:  Matt & Kim’s explosive, maniacally fun set on Saturday was the weekend’s highlight. From Kim Schifino’s penchant for between-song f-bombs and crawling on top of her drum kit, to Matt Johnson’s endless cheerleading of the crowd to have more fun, their set transcended their often too-goofy-by-half songs and made it seem as though they brought Saturday’s sun-drenched afternoon with them solely for our enjoyment.

Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim

 

RTG_2014_23

 

Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim

 

Crowd at Matt & Kim

 

Crowd during De La Soul

 

What didn’t work: De La Soul, who I had been looking forward to seeing for weeks, dropped the ball as headliners on Saturday. The set was unfocused, muddy and they neglected to play their new single, which is the best thing they’ve had in a long time. They also managed to turn in an outright terrible version of “Me, Myself and I,” which was easily the biggest disappointment of the weekend. They seem to be on a creative resurgence lately, and I’m hopeful that there are just some growing pains involved in the process.

De La Soul

De La Soul

 

De La Soul

De La Soul

 

RTG_2014_42

 

De La Soul

De La Soul

 SUNDAY

What worked – Ladies first: Both days saw a solo female open the show (Lizzo on Saturday, Valerie June on Sunday) but there were many more onstage during the course of the weekend, from Dessa who offered a heavy, thought-provoking set on Sunday and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, who put on a fairly one-note set Saturday (cats, weed and California only lend themselves to so much diversified material) and Matt and Kim’s Kim Schifino, women were all over this year’s lineup.

Valerie June

Valerie June

 

Valerie June

Valerie June

 

What worked – Stunt casting: Kurt Vile turned in the weekend’s most intriguing set. His jammy, ethereal guitar rock seemingly tailor-made for a festival atmosphere like Rock the Garden. Spreading  just seven songs out over his set, and seemingly winning some new fans in the process–the crowd was abuzz about him by the time he walked off stage.

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

 

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

 

Middle Ground: Dessa put on a thought-provoking, heavy-handed set on Sunday and while it’s always a treat to see her, she felt just a bit out of place offering up domestic abuse ruminations just a few minutes before Guided By Voices. Maybe it was her placement in the lineup, or simply the nature of festivals where there always seems to be an odd man (or woman) out. She threw a jar of show-sponsor Talenti gelato in the crowd about halfway through and and at one point crowd-surfed, and even ended her set in the crowd, but, while Dessa is incredibly talented and has a lot to say, it’s hard to describe her as “fun.” This isn’t a knock, it’s grounded in the nature of the subjects (domestic abuse, etc.) she chooses to address.

Dessa

Dessa

 

Dessa

Dessa

 

Dessa

Dessa

 

Aby Wolf

Aby Wolf

 

Dessa & Aby Wolf

Dessa & Aby Wolf

 

Dessa

Dessa

 

Robert Pollard

Robert Pollard

 

What worked – Stunt casting: Legendary stalwarts Guided By Voices put on a pretty great set on Sunday, running through nearly two dozen songs both old and new. Lead singer Robert Pollard was slinging smart remarks (“We’ve played here at least twenty times and Paul Westerberg never shows up.”) while swigging from a handle of tequila and the occasional beer. It wasn’t their steadiest set and was easily the weekend’s most confusing for a good portion of the skewed-younger crowd. The short songs with odd names like “Cut-Out Witch” and “Tractor Rape Chain” are a love-it-or-leave-it affair, but they had the distinction of being the best example of what the Current is all about: new music that’s influenced by older, sometimes underappreciated music. GBV have the distinction of fitting on both ends of that spectrum.

Guided By Voices

Guided By Voices

 

Guided By Voices

Guided By Voices

 

Guided By Voices

Guided By Voices

 

Robert Pollard

Robert Pollard

 

Robert Pollard

Robert Pollard

 

What worked: Spoon closing Sunday’s show was also a masterstroke. Britt Daniel and company took a break for a few years but they’re back and the break seems to have rejuvenated them creatively – they show no signs of slowing down. From the opening notes of the new songs to old favorites like “I Turn My Camera On” and “Don’t Make Me a Target,”  nobody put on a more fully rounded and solid performance over the weekend.

Britt Daniel

Britt Daniel

 

Spoon

Spoon

 

Rock the Garden 2014

 

Overall, it was a pretty great lineup and, of course not everything can be a homerun. There were far more ups than there were downs and with roughly ten hours of music happening over the course of the weekend. It shook out to be a wise idea to host Rock the Garden over the course of two days. It had to have been a hell of a thing to plan, but the two-day format should be standard from now on.

 

Rock the Garden 2014

 

The Eels with Steve Perry of Journey at the Fitzgerald Theater – May 25, 2014

26 May

The Eels at the Fitzgerald Theater

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

In retrospect, we all should have seen it coming. When Mark Oliver Everett opened up the Eels show with a gruff, sweet take on Disney‘s “When You Wish Upon a Star” he was obviously tapping into a deep wish for the return of a lost American star. When he first spoke to the crowd and announced that we were going on a journey – “But it’s a bummer journey” – before assuring us that it would end up alright, he was laying down some heavy hints for us to pick up. But it wasn’t until Steve Perry – Steve “The Voice” Perry from Journey, who hasn’t really sung in 20 some years – was midway through putting his silky spin on “It’s a Motherfucker” as our brains collectively short-circuited that we could even start to realize what was happening, what had happened. I’m still not sure that it happened, but I know that it did because “Open Arms” and “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’” killed, and there’s video proof:

“It’s a Motherfucker” – The Eels with Steve Perry. Steve Motherfucking Perry. from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

This would have been a lovely Eels show regardless. Backed by percussion that included a full drum kit, timpani and bells, upright bass, trumpet and pedal steel, this show had – for all of E’s protestations about being lovelorn and lost – a warm and human touch to it. After playing an eclectic set that included amped up versions of some of his biggest hits E ran out into the crowd and did a lap through the Fitz, giving and taking hugs, before dedicating “I Like the Way This is Going” to “the 19 girls I hugged.”

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©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

Tunes like “A Line In The Dirt” did carry the wry sorrow and pain of broken relationships with them, but they were balanced out by the determined, more forward-looking, “Mistakes of Youth” and other tunes, and the cover of “Fools Rush In” was sweet and resigned, from a man experienced enough to know what comes next.

“Fresh Feelin'” – The Eels at the Fitzgerald Theater from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

Except, with an Eels show, you can never really know what comes next. And sometimes, you get Steve Perry, and you all get to sing “Na na na na na na” into the night.

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

Setlist
When You Wish Upon a Star
Things The Grandchildren Should Know
Parallels
Mansions of Los Feliz
My Timing is Off
A Line In The Dirt
Where I’m From
Lockdown Hurricane
A Daisy Through Concrete
Grace Kelly Blues
Fresh Feeling
I Like Birds
My Beloved Monster
Gentleman’s Choice
Mistakes of My Youth
Where I’m Going

Encore
I Like the Way This is Going
Blinking Lights
Last Stop: This Town

Encore #2
Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) (Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer)
Turn on Your Radio (Harry Nilsson)

Encore #3 WITH STEVE PERRY
It’s a Motherfucker
Open Arms (Journey)
Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ (Journey)

More video to come!

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz - All Rights Reserved

©Stacy Schwartz – All Rights Reserved

James Andrews at the Cowles Center

20 May

James Andrews “What a Wonderful World” #artspematters from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

Last night at the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis, Artspace threw a party celebrating its work this year. If you don’t know, Artspace is an organization based in Minneapolis dedicated to creating affordable artist housing and live/work spaces, currently operating 35 spaces in 13 states, with 4 more projects in the works. For the celebration Buckets and Tap Shoes and singer Ashley Dubose (an Artspace resident) were on hand, and since one of the next projects is down in New Orleans, so was jazz trumpeter James Andrews. Here’s his take on the Louis Armstrong classic, bringing the Mississippi back around full circle.

2014 Stone Arch Bridge Festival Announces Music Lineup

20 May

StoneArchPoster2014
The Stone Arch Bridge Festival has finally announced their lineup for 2014! Our very own Staciaann continues her streak, booking the festival for the 8th year in a row.

This year features a wide variety of hip-hop, good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll, folk, jazz, and country, as well as a few things that just don’t fit into any genre. Every year brings an overabundance of talent – which is both awesome and frustrating as there are limited spots for music during this three-day festival. The big shows take place after 7pm on Water Power Park (a really cool place, if you haven’t been) and feature the likes of Mike Munson, Frankie Lee, & The Cactus Blossoms on Friday night, followed up by Greg Grease & Sean Anonymous on Saturday… which leads right into the festivities across the river for Northern Spark. Super excited for that!

Enough waiting… here’s the full lineup!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cities 97 Stage on Water Power Park

7:00 p.m. Mike Munson
7:30 p.m.Frankie Lee
8:30 p.m. Mike Munson
9:00 p.m.The Cactus Blossoms

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Star Tribune Stage in Father Hennepin Park

1:15 p.m. Sarah Morris
2:15 p.m. Swallows
3:15 p.m. Andra Suchy
4:15 p.m. Mother Banjo
5:15 p.m. Jessica Manning
6:15 p.m. Tortuga!

Cities 97 Stage on Water Power Park

12:00 p.m. Jill.
12:45 p.m. Danami and the Blue
1:45 p.m. Verskotzi
2:45 p.m. Vision the Kid & Tru
3:45 p.m. Step Rockets
4:45 p.m. Two Harbors
5:45 p.m. Taj Raj
6:45 p.m. Unknown Prophets
7:45 p.m. Greg Grease
9:00 p.m. Sean Anonymous

City Pages Stage Under the Central Avenue Bridge

11.15 a.m. Bob & Lynn Dixon
12:15 p.m. David Gerald Sutton
1:15 p.m. Walker Fields
2:15 p.m. Stephanie Says
3:15 p.m. Will Bauermeister
4:15 p.m. Mike Munson
5:15 p.m. Adam Svec
6:15 p.m. Kind Red Spirits

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Star Tribune Stage in Father Hennepin Park

12:15 p.m. Jillian Rae
1:15 p.m. Peter Lochner
2:15 p.m. Steve Noonan
3:15 p.m. Maple & Beech
4:15 p.m. Jake Ilika & the Heavy Set

Cities 97 Stage on Water Power Park

12:oo p.m. Street Hassle
1:00 p.m. Some Pulp
2:05 p.m. Johnny Rey
3:10 p.m. Courtney Yasmineh Band
4:15 p.m. Ruben

City Pages Stage Under the Central Avenue Bridge

12:15 p.m. EMOT
1:15 p.m. Billy Johnson
2:15 p.m. Dan Israel
3:15 p.m. Ben Glaros
4:15 p.m. Paul Seeba

VTK&TRU

Vision the Kid & Tru

UnknownProphets

Unknown Prophets

Taj Raj

Taj Raj

 

Jessica Manning

Jessica Manning

Photo Review: Haley Bonar CD Release at the Varsity – May 16, 2014

19 May

Photos by Jenna Klein

Haley Bonar released her new album “Last War” at the Varsity Theater last Friday night to a packed house. The beautiful Anonymous Choir with Nona Marie opened the show.

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HaleyBonar_09

HaleyBonar_13

HaleyBonar_17  HaleyBonar_19

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Leav Kickstarter

4 Mar

We’ve written in the past about some Kickstarter campaigns that we’ve liked, supported or given a boost. Usually they’ve been for a musician, a show or something like that, but this time around it’s for a mix of all those things, in a really exciting package. It’s Leav, a new platform for smartphones that ties together music, video and art to the city around us, all in the palm of your hand.

If you live in a city long enough, you’ll invariably build associations to the place and art, whether it’s involuntarily humming the Hold Steady up in the Quarry, a poster that reminds you of a certain show on a certain night with a certain person, or a streetcorner that holds the memory of epic drama. Leav is a location and time-specific app that lets artists share their view of the city and attach new work to it. A dance company can create a video that you can only see at a certain time of day in a certain place, a musician can give you a sonic landscape that matches the cityscape around you. It’s an exciting vision of what technology and art can do together and it’s being built by artists – Andy Voegtline, Erik Martz, Joey Kantor & Bobby Maher – for artists.

Leav launched with a lineup of impressive artists to work provide work for the app – Holly Hansen of Zoo Animal, Chris Koza of Rogue Valley, choreographer and City Pages 2004 Artist of the Year Stuart Pimsler and nationally acclaimed visual artist Kate Casanova – and a new round of artists has just been announced, including man-about-town Andy Sturdevant, dancer Emily Johnson, musician Grant Cutler, and the Roe Family Singers. That’s a whole festival right there, one that we would be proud to use to introduce people to the Twin Cities, and it can all be ours in the palm of our hands.

With a March 8 deadline approaching, the Leav team are about $7,500 short of a $22,000 goal, so 66% there. That may seem like a daunting hill to climb, but Kickstarter’s own numbers show that of projects that reach 60% funding, 98% of those are completely funded. So go on and support Leav, because this is a whole new world for local art.

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Tristan and Yseult

20 Feb

When I was an undergrad in art school, one of the requisite courses was a Sculpture 101 course, which quickly turned into a conceptual free-for-all. For the final, one of my classmates took his camera, rigged up a stencil that covered the external flash, and started taking people’s pictures. The stencil he had cut, which was covered by a white cloth, was the word LOVE, so that when the camera went off the word floated ephemerally under our eyelids in that blinking red-to-green disorientation of flashbulbs. It was simple, unexpected, and euphoric.

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Kneehigh’s production of Tristan & Yseult, playing now at the Guthrie Theater has a similar feel – little gags and scenes pieced together with a bright flash, resulting in dizzying enchantment. Anyone who remembers their glorious Brief Encounter from four years ago know that Kneehigh excel at creating swooning, cinematic moments on stage that are as indelible as they are fleeting – even in a story about love, betrayal, jealousy, heartbreak and redemption, there is no time for dwelling or stewing, everything moves and is full of life.

Tristan & Yseult tells a version of the old French & Cornish myth – Tristan (Andrew Durand) is a French knight arrived in Cornwall from Brittany, just in time to save the Cornish king, Mark (Stuart Goodwin), from the Irish invader Morholt (Craig Johnson). King Mark sends Tristan to Ireland to bring back Morholt’s sister Yseult (Etta Murfitt) as his trophy, but Tristan and Yseult fall in love. Mark marries Yseult, and they, too, love each other, but not with the same fire that Tristan and Yseult hold. Tristan and Yseult are discovered and, as there always are in love and betrayal, there are consequences.

The consequences here, though, are more complex than simply love and hate and Kneehigh captures a range of requited and unrequited passions, duties and pains. The show opens at “The Club of the Unloved,” a downbeat nightclub populated by the “Lovespotters” – most of the cast dressed in dark windbreakers, knit balaklavas and dark rimmed glasses – a group of hilariously morose hipsters who serve as a sympathetic chorus for the story. There is the big triangle of Mark, Tristan and Yseult and their fiery, powerful feelings, but also a kindness and a desire to not hurt each other, even in the face of the inevitable. Mark’s attack dog Frocin, played with frothing energy by Giles King, walks a fine line between contemptible jealousy and pitiable despair. Perhaps one of the biggest moments of pathos is the moment of transformation of Brangian, Yseult’s maidservant. Played originally to huge laughs by Craig Johnson in drag, the after-effects of a command from Yseult and Johnson’s sensitivity are heartbreaking, and give space to the hurt that those in power can often, unthinkingly, cause to others without.

Johnson’s moment is one of the few moments of stillness in the show, otherwise there the space is filled with wild dancing, singing, and courtesy of the ropes attached to a mast in the center of the stage, acrobatic aerial moments. It could be a mess, but Emma Rice’s sure direction keeps everything crisp. There is just enough going on in terms of a set – the mast, a round stage that serves as the main playing area, giving an observer’s periphery on the actual proscenium, an elevated space for the band and a record player in a corner to give the imagination space to play. The costuming, from Tristan’s tightly cropped green suit to the yellow dress and pillbox hat on Whitehands (Carly Bawden), the nightclub singer and ostensible narrator, to the sweater vests of the band, give a swinging 60s vibe to the show, a useful point of romantic nostalgia for an audience, and for the show.

Kneehigh uses dialogue effectively, sometimes sparingly, in favor of montage-like action sequences that sweep you away and capture that breathlessness of love. One of the central questions about love at the end of Tristan & Yseult is about the possibility of return – will a lover come back? If Kneehigh keep making theater like this, please let the answer be yes. -c.a.s.

Kneehigh’s Tristan & Yseult from WeAreKneehigh on Vimeo.