The Sun Shining On Her Hands @ The Bread & Roses Theatre, London Theatre Review

The Sun Shining On Her Hands is a production of originality, colour and creativity. The story follows the character of Marie from Georg Büchner’s expressionist play ‘Woyzeck’.

The Sun is shining on her Hands

This unique production explores a multitude of themes denoting gender, discrimination and identity, explored through the use of movement and contemporary dance. The soundtrack to the production is an original score of vocal and piano music, a combination of atmospheric tracks, pitched perfectly for the action of the piece.

The Sun Shining on her Hands is presented by Trip The Light Theatre, in collaboration with The Bread and Roses Theatre. Adapted and choreographed by Cassiah Joski-Jethi and original music composed by Sara Jasmin Page, creating a real sense of a production embedded with creativity. This inventive production is filled with dance sequences, passages of text and real-life accounts of gender discrimination. Within this production there is unique ability to convey the historic period of time, enabled by the depth of colour, props and character voices.

The characterisation within this piece is an interesting representation, as all three performers perform fractures of the classic role of Marie. Sara Jasmin Page, engages and amuses with a natural naivety and childlike quality. She engages audience members with an enduring sense of innocence. Whereas, Anna Rachael McBride often appearing overwhelming, featuring an essence of overexerting the character, I question the relevance to the role, does Marie have a pedantic side?

However, Anna, is extremely strong within the dance sequences and individually stands out as a dancer. Lastly, Ash Goosey, offers a different element within the production, a gullibility that is beautiful but often appears over rehearsed. His sense of movement is distinctive and the lifts he enables are visually engaging. The role of Marie is challenging, however I believe the company make a real effort to show the three dimensions of this complex character, and do so at an engaging level.

Entirely immersive in a traverse staging style, it is impossible to remove oneself from the action. Each audience member is forced to observe this rehearsed story structure that often appears absurd, lacking any real impact or identity. Relatable to Fringe theatre, as a piece it feels appropriately developmental. There is the use of music which I often wish is louder creating more of an atmosphere, embodying the performers with a sense of energy and precision. The production heavily features dance sequences that are often not synchronised or on the beat of the composed music.

The Sun Shining On Her Hands is a show about longing for more, for freedom and self-expression and this is enabled by the character based direction. The audience is given a sense of explanation, not only through the lens of Marie but through exploring concepts using the medium of dance. Truly unique in concept and construction; it is a production that is accessible even though it is appears absurd. Impact of material is underwhelming and lacking any sense of impact but you will always be engaged by a sense of characterisation and movement. An engaging, original and creative, evening with a sense of uniqueness, I leave the production reflecting on the role of a dancer and actor, two distinguished and different roles, questioning the combination of the two performance practices. 2/5

Review written by Meg Mattravers.

The Sun Shining on her Hands is currently showing at the Bread and Roses Theatre until Saturday 12th December. For more information on the production, visit here…

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