Jan 25

In The Middle With You – Trinity Laban Theatre | Theatre Review

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In The Middle With You – Trinity Laban Theatre
Reviewed 23/01/2014

Trinity Laban Theatre, London, SE8 3DZ

A broken watch can be two things. For two seconds a day it is perfectly right, and in its own internal world it stretches each of those seconds to 12 hour lengths. This broken watch lives its entire life repeating the same cycle of movement, repeating itself every second, every hour, every 12 hours but now it’s frozen in this single moment. Hagit Yakira’s In The Middle With You has echoes of this concept, focusing on the repetitive nature of our lives and exploring what happens when we need a break from it.


Yakira has designed the piece to be an exploration of the subtle moments between “depression and boredom”, between explosive emotion and mundanity, between the everyday and the real or imagined breakout paths that one can take to recharge ones soul. These moments are often tiny, but here we can luxuriate in the idea of a single moment stretched to breaking point. We can let a emotion run its course rather than have it constrained by discourteous time cutting it off.

The five performers use expansive physicality, loud movements, to take us through what could be a person’s lifetime in microcosm, or a single moment crammed with twitching, reflexive thoughts. Loneliness, friendship, reliance on others, grinding repetition of daily tasks set against frequent desires and thoughts of escape to a more colourful and spontaneous world. That grinding nature of life is shown holistically through the spoken words of the piece, the dance and the music. Persistence is the name of the game here in the face of bleak odds. In the extraordinary “swimming” scene, we see Sisyphean repetition from one dancer which is then supported, replicated and experienced by the rest. Time again here is stretched so the repetition and occasional moments of beautiful synchronicity become hypnotic before we crash into the exuberant and uplifting ending.

Each of the five performers (Takeshi Matsumoto, Sophie Arstall, Mariana Camiloti, Ben McEwen, Kiraly Saint Clare) has a distinct personality, and it is an interesting choice to let their true personalities shine through rather than create characters for them. It’s refreshingly honest to see the dancers become tired, to see them laugh, to embellish and to support each other so fully. Throughout the performance there is a motif of interpersonal support, catching each other when spinning out of control, steadying each other when falling (vital to point out that they are, of course, not actually falling over and bumping into each other and are, in fact, graceful and highly proficient dancers) which provides a warm bedrock above which the cold repetition of the mundane can exist without damaging the characters too much.

Review of In The Middle With You.

With permission granted to the audience by Hagit, by the music and by the performers to let go of time and revel in its disruption, the lack of control is an odd feeling. There will be a divide between an anxiety that a moment has been overextended and a serenity that comes from having all the time in the world to just look at people doing powerful things in front of you. The various movements, or sections, are quite different from each other which is, unfortunately, at times a little jarring. It takes a little while to regain the shows theatrical momentum when the sections shift but it’s not really a problem to worry about.

It’s a dynamic piece that allows an audience and performer the time to reflect on what each movement means to them. At times it’s funny, at times quite sad. It is a well thought out and intelligently realised bit of work and at under an hour for a performance it is one that affords no excuse to decline an opportunity to witness it.

The show had been shown in full at Laban Theatre in November 2013 to a sold out audience and this showcase was a way to raise press interest and get more momentum going before the British Dance Edition in Edinburgh next week.

There are two more dates confirmed after BDE:

Wednesday 5th February 2014, 7.30pm
Quad South Hall, York St John University, York, Yorkshire, YO31 7EX Arts Faculty
Box Office 01904 876433

Thursday 13th February 2014, 8.00pm   
Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, 10 Square Rd, Halifax, HX1 1QG
Box Office 01422 349422



Images by Rachel Cherry