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The Wedding by Gecko - A Review

The Wedding by Gecko - A Review

Gecko: The Wedding

21st April 2017 New Wolsey Theatre

This is the second time I have seen Gecko Theatre company, having watched their production ‘The Time of Your Life’ as part of the Live from Television Centre showcase in 2015. That performance has really stuck with me and so I was delighted to get the chance to see The Wedding at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, their home town.

The company are even more engaging and powerful live. The Wedding has a multi-layered narrative which takes place in what Artistic Director, Amit Lahav describes as a “dystopian world in which every one of us is a bride, wedded to society”. This idea and its all-encompassing themes are presented through images and scenes which are both forceful and tender. The piece invites audience interpretations of life, love and work, as well as undercurrents of immigration and community. My companion saw things in the piece that I had not and it provoked much discussion between us. There was urgency in the performance and the portrayal of these current issues demanded our attention.

It feels too simplistic to try to describe the piece in detail when it was a web of images that created a much more effective whole. The performers were ‘born’ through a pipe onto a pile of teddy bears, one of which they gave up in return for either a wedding dress or a gold suit before being taken through a door into what appeared to be a world of frenzied business and commerce. The ‘immigrant’ appearing, literally, out of a suitcase was a great comic moment but also heart breaking and his unsuccessful attempt to integrate into the rest of the community was poignant in the extreme.

The dancing and movement was so skilled as to appear almost improvised yet with such purpose of feeling. The hand-held lighting and puppetry was brilliantly done and we were blown away by the energy and conviction of all the performers. Gecko describes its work as: ‘visual, visceral, ambitious theatre designed to inspire, move and entertain’. I would definitely agree with all of those, especially visceral, but would add challenging and at times shocking; the beating of a suitcase with a man inside was truly disturbing.

The performance felt like a totally unique experience; some parts I didn’t fully understand and some were disorientating but that only resonated with how real life can be sometimes. The performance was both outstanding and astounding and it was a privilege to see something with such lasting impact. Ipswich is lucky to have such a radical and inventive company as Gecko on its doorstep and I look forward to their next theatrical adventure.

Caroline Roberts, English Undergraduate, University of Suffolk

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