Artificial Things

This is the first year of the ‘iF Platform’ – a new showcase featuring the UK's top disabled artists and integrated arts companies. Artificial Things, brought to us by Stopgap Dance Company, is part of this innovative programme

A piece that celebrates diversity without sugar-coating the truth of it.

This contemporary dance piece sets out to challenge our perceptions of how humans co-exist, through the story of five individuals. As they interact and dance, relationships and friendships are created, leaders are formed and a disjointed hierarchy seems to take shape. However as they start to reflect on themselves and see each other not just through each other's eyes but also, for the first time, truthfully through their own, the situation descends into something much bleaker.

The use of an almost arcade-like tank, which later creates an onstage snow globe, proves effective due to its fantastically simple design. Lucy Bennett's collaborative approach to the choreography is so individually respectful to each dancer's ability, but is seamlessly integrated. A highlight for me was Chris Pavia's solo, which was simplistic but strong with bold motifs and obsequious skill.

There is a definite abjectness within this piece, that is at times uncomfortable to watch. However I am more than confident that each decision has been made with the utmost consciousness and the dark nature of it in no way compromised its strong spirit. I would recommend that you do your research a little with this one – it is abstract and may get a little lost on some more conventional, contemporary fans.

However this company promises a piece that celebrates diversity without sugar-coating the truth of it. Its bold and honest and forces you to – and you'll be so glad you did. 

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Red and The Wolf

★★★
The Edinburgh Academy

Spring Awakening

★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

The Rules Of Inflation

★★★★
Assembly Checkpoint

Confessions of a Justified Songwriter

★★★★★
Assembly Hall

9 to 5

★★★★
Sweet Grassmarket

Drink! The Musical

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

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The Blurb

Following the critically acclaimed premiere at Sadler's Wells, award-winning Stopgap bring you cinematic contemporary dance that questions our notions of co-existence. Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape through rock’n’roll. Wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals uncomfortable truths, pushing you to look at the world differently. ‘Exhilarating, funny and truly innovative’ (DisabilityArtsOnline.org.uk). ‘A pioneering collective … powerful … bold and disarming’ **** (Exeunt).

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