By Catherine Hart

Take a Seat is a local devised show produced by Inside Out Circus and Physical Theatre, featuring an incredibly talented ensemble. Directed and choreographed by Damara Sylvester, it is one of Nelson Fringe Festival’s local productions, and is one of the most captivating physical performances I have seen in some time.

Inside Out Circus and Physical Theatre’s show Take A Seat. Photo by Doug Brooks.

As the performers enter the stage carrying their seats in precarious positions I wonder what we’re in for. It is bizarre but also fascinating. Their movements are precise while maintaining a looseness in their bodies. Each performer oozes talent, and I struggle to watch them as individuals within such a skilful group. I am impressed at the diversity of the cast that is somewhat refreshing compared to the standard dance troupe.

The overall use of the chairs is original and captivating. I can honestly say I have never seen anyone use chairs in this manner before. An especially exciting moment is when during the aerial routine. It resembles a routine that would typically be performed with circus silks, and the movements of the performer make us forget that she is twisting their body around a solid, unyielding object.

Despite the obvious difficulties that the technicians are having with the soundtrack, the music is emotive and powerful. I find myself dancing in my own seat, not something I admit to doing often. The performers power through the technical faults without missing a beat, and I applaud them for their persistence.

Take a Seat is part of a Double Feature, meaning it is only half an hour long. Due to the talent of those involved, I could have continued to watch this performance for much longer without losing my interest or concentration.

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