Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Norfolk and Norwich Festival programme makes Motor Show sound like some kind of performance dogging event: the reality is more sensitive and delicate than that.
At its core is the tale of a couple of young lovers, out in their hatchback for an evening of what might pass for romance. They flirt, they fight, they fall out and then find themselves again. Each development is told through dance, with the audience listening remotely via radio headphones to an audacious soundtrack that mixes music with the clicking of seatbelts and slamming of doors.
The story is duplicated with three sets of boy, girl, and car simultaneously acting out the piece; mostly they mirror each other, occasionally they interact. Making impressive use of the vehicles as stages in themselves, show producers Requardt & Rosenberg have choreographed some impressive scenes and in particular a ‘courtship’ ritual that sees the couple diving fluidly in and out of the open car windows, across the roofs and bonnets.
Around the edges of this story other strands develop: a beaten-up car driven by a Clockwork Orange-style gang of droogs; a conflicted businessman; a diva; a dancing schoolgirl; an outlandishly-costumed dance troupe. It is here, particularly the last group, that the show weakens with loosely executed routines and no clear narrative.
This is a technically impressive show with a playful and inventive approach, but it needs the punch of its core to permeate the rest to really reward an audience for an hour watching in the cold.
Motor Show runs nightly at 9.30pm at St James Place, off Whitefriars, until Wednesday.