REVIEW: The Wedding at Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Campus

The Wedding by physical theatre company Gecko is at Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus. Picture by Rich Rusk.

Gecko is a physical theatre company committed to the fusion of dance and acting to make spectacular performances.

The Wedding starts by exploring marriage rituals in different cultures as ways of conforming to the expectations of family and community.

Willing innocents are manipulated into white dresses, cheesy speeches and drunken discos. Contracts are signed and the props for a conventional married life are handed out.

As the dream lurches into nightmare, the theme broadens to question the marriage made between the individual and the state. Some want to leave their own party, some want to divorce their jobs as much as their partners.

Others are outsiders from the start, refugees who can’t leave the party because they never got the invite. It is exclusion that strains their partnerships.

All this is explored in a brilliant cascade of images. Literal dramatic situations fuse with abstract dance against a background of sound and music. The show turns from comic to alienating to haunting in seconds.

When the performers in this international company speak it is in their own languages.

The text is not always going to be your guide here. The action may even baffle at times but it will always entertain and intrigue.

And the end is nothing short of a wonderful, clapping and stomping celebration of being alive.

Until Saturday.

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