FRINGE REVIEW – Anatomy of a Fantasy (Assembly @ George Street)


12 – 29 August (not 17)
1725-1825, Assembly George Street

The visuals in Anatomy of a Fantasy, a new production by Russian avant-garde dance company Do Theatre, are mesmerising.

Strange, demonic creatures step in and out of starkly beautiful lighting, carrying scythes which cut the real and symbolic cords entwining an everyman character, forced to experience all the ‘seasons’ of life’s relentless journey.

However, some of these scenes suffer too much from ponderous and slightly self-indulgent pacing, meaning there is often little else to do than stare at the living tableaux on stage as they slowly progress through their Danse Macabre.

There are some splendid ideas and realisations here, particularly towards the latter stages of the work, where themes of death and rebirth are explored quite beautifully. And the live electronic soundtrack created by the mysterious master-like figure to stage left is also hypnotic and mood-heightening.

This does feel like a piece which could benefit from some judicious use of its own scythes: to pare back some of the segments to let the core themes and vision emerge from the trappings of a work which currently feels too ponderous.

Ticket information is available from the Assembly website

Review by Keith D

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