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Ockham's Razor - Not until we are lost - Lowry 30/05/2013

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I spent an amazing hour at the Lowry last night, where Ockham's Razor were performing Until We Are Lost in the Quays theatre.


It shows how much I had read the blurb when we arrived in the bar area and were invited to leave coats and bags because it was a promenade performance and we would be standing/walking around for an hour!  We were let into the auditorium literally a minute or 2 before the show was due to start.  The Quays theatre is horseshoe-shaped and the stage and stalls seating had been removed.  We were given some ground rules before we went in - there would be a guide-rope that we had to stand behind and there were some stools for people who could not continuously stand (actually they looked rejects from Lyric Pieces!).


The performance had about 6 different elements which were revealed gradually and mysteriously.  In one corner of the auditorium there was a glass tower that was lined with brown paper.  That was where we started, as the score started with rather spooky electric harp sounds I thought the tower was being used for projections as we could see movement on the paper.  Actually one of the performers was in the tower and was gradually revealed - it was really weird where I was standing when a pair of feet appeared!  I thought that perhaps the performer was "being born".


On the other side of the auditorium there was a scaffolding framework that looked like a giant meccano set or a metallic climbing structure in and adventure playground.  The second segment was when all 5 of the aerial performers appeared and used an angled structure.  This is when I realised that there was an acting element to the performance as the aerialists climbed around the frame helping each other and looking scared!  Just like children on a climbing frame. 


As the rope was moved around and we followed to the next section while the frame was being reorganised I suddenly realised that some members of the audience were singing.  How bizarre, I thought, until light dawned - there was a choir intermingled in the audience!  They moved to one side for the next section on a vertical frame where two males and one female performed a routine of flirtatiousness and giving the audience thrills by swinging out towards us!  I should say at this point that the aerial work looked very natural and unstructured unlike, for example, aerial work in a circus.  Obviously it was choreographed meticulously but that is not how it came over, which made it all the more enthralling.  At some point during this section I realised that the score was being played live by a lady harpist!


From this section we were moved back to the glass tower where there was, to my eyes, the most beautifully romantic duet for a man inside the tower and a woman on the outside.  The way, at points, their hands met on either side of the glass was spine-tingling!


During this beautiful duet the original climbing frame had been turned into a giant swing and this penultimate section was really fun as the aerialists did some moves on the swing to keep the momentum going that even I had done as a child, as well as much more complex clambering and hanging activities!


Finally we were back to the tower where all the performers climbed inside, squashing down together.  I started to feel quite claustrophobic as the male at the bottom fought his way out to the top.  Perhaps a "rebirth of the strongest".  The end!


It really was a stunning an unexpected evening!


One of the things that I really liked about the evening was that you could make up your own stories as you went along.  It was an evening of revelation as the different segments were revealed and even the way the choir and the harpist were revealed.


Here is a review that has appeared overnight:  http://www.whatsonstage.com/reviews/theatre/northwest/E8831369984074/Ockham%2527s+Razor+-+Not+Until+We+Are+Lost+%2528Tour+-+Salford%2529.html


It really is worth seeing this company if you get an opportunity.  This show is on at the Lowry until Sunday and there are a couple of tour dates left after that:  http://www.ockhamsrazor.co.uk/wp/





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