Wednesday, 21 April 2004

3 Headed Dog, April 21, 2004

  3 Headed Dog 
by 3 Headed Dog 
 Theatreworks, April 21 to May 1, 2004
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

3 Headed Dog is the name of a collective of performers and their first program of short works. All three pieces are charming, inventive and poignant.

Homebody, by Kate Hunter, directed by Merophie Carr,  portrays an exuberant, engaging physical clown. Hunter, dressed in a floral frock, pinny and cap, resembles a timid servant from Gosford Park.

Her entire piece involves a quirky, jerky little character setting up house. She carries, drags, pushes and wheels all sizes and shapes of suitcases. The cases become her little home. As she fusses and arranges them, she opens several to reveal not only her silky white undies and nighties, but entire rooms.

Inside one is a bed, another a bathroom and toilet and then the appliances and decorations start to appear: a broom, flowers, telephone, a soft toy for the bed.

Hunter's physical work is joyfully reminiscent of the French school of comic character.

David Wells uses both dialogue and contemporary dance in Corridor, a compelling examination of his visit to a hospital corridor. He accompanies his abstract movement with self-narration about his father's near fatal operation in a room at the end of a long corridor.

His verbal version of the story is inter-cut with his inventive physical interpretation of the same actions. Wells cues the music on and off at will with a brisk gesture to his technician.

After a sweet and funny beginning that explores the history, shape and line of the corridor, Wells takes us to a more sensitive place. He recalls the family pet, conversations with his father ad finally the dreadful and painful moment when a doctor walks down the corridor bringing bad news.

The last work. Lost in Tokyo, by Jo Davidson and Fiona Roake is perhaps the least successful theatrically albeit charming. Roake plays ukulele, electric bass, drum. They sing peculiar, amusing songs and Davidson relates poetic stories.

The high point is when two suitcases reveal shadow screens concealed inside their lids. The ensuing miniature shadow puppet piece is clever and enchanting.

LOOK FOR: Roake's bedroom and bathroom in a suitcase.

By Kate Herbert

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