Stuart King

Review: ASSEMBLY HALL by Kidd Pivot at Sadler’s Wells

Vancouver’s extraordinary hybrid dance/theatre company Kidd Pivot return to Sadler’s Wells with their unique blend of precision movement melded to a recorded text of sounds and dialogue. ASSEMBLY HALL follows in the deft footsteps of Bettrofenheit and Revisor, both previous Olivier award winning collaborations between the troupe’s choreographer Crystal Pite and playwright-in-residence Jonathon Young.

Assembly Hall at Sadler's WellsThe cast of Assembly Hall at Sadler's Wells. Photo Michael Slobodian.

The surreal style is unmistakable — physical lip-synching by the dancers who fuse gestures in near-exact lockstep with the words being heard. For this production, we are transported to a run-down assembly hall where a group of amateur medieval re-enactors are holding their AGM and teetering on the brink of a vote which would see them disband. If only they could determine once and for all if they have the required quorum and whether there is any other business to attend to before the hour is up!

Only a knight in shining armour would be capable of saving the day, and he appears less-than-convinced on the merits of continuing the questionable traditions of this questionable organisation, populated with quirky and questionable misfits. On press night, the entire troupe performed with the skills and exactitude of a Swiss clock, but particular mention must go to the transfixing moments delivered by Brandon Alley, Douglas Letheren and Gregory Lau.

Once again, something dull and potentially tedious on paper, has provided rich pickings for development during the creative and collaborative process and the team have generated an often humorous and wholly mesmerising spectacle.