Sunday, 29 March 2015

Little Terrors by Madeline Shann, Square Chapel for the Arts, Halifax

Madeline Shann's Little Terrors (Photo Credit: Stefania Zanetti)

Madeline Shann brings her debut one woman show to Halifax's Square Chapel for the Arts.  When the audience takes to their seats, Shann is seated nervously on stage and she is surrounded by props; which is presumed at the time link to Little Terrors's theme, fear!

In a dance theatre lecture format, she begins addressing her inner fears from a performer's perspective asking herself "What if..." and so on.  She next moves on to look at our ever changing world from someone's eyes whose fear is their dominion.  Working methodically with the laid out props Shann personally recounts here fears with small ones to big and the extreme whether it's trivial items to things that are beyond her control such as climate change.

The music and sound design is choreographed well to the performance projecting Shann's fears through dialogue, physical movement and dancing. Good use of the props particularly the masquerade movement connecting with the fear of clowns and a comedic drama enactment about the fear of flying and travelling.  She encourages audience participation by asking someone to wipe off her make up to everyone visualising a scenario with her and experiencing how the mind and body reacts to fear, flight or fight!

Her yoga like mindfulness and sharply focussed facial and body expressions demonstrate how fear can have an effect one's mind whether physically, mentally or emotionally. 

Although she presents her fears, phobias and idiosyncrasies; she searches the 'hero' inside herself with reference from M People's "Search for the Hero".  She looks at experts' advice and theories to personal coping mechanisms.  She encourages everyone to be 'superheroes' where one can 'explore our fears' and question 'our unpredictable world' we live.

Shann presents herself as a personal biography.  A personal, unscripted performance where she shares her fears from the heart.  The performance flows without any hesitation and Little Terrors is a recommended show where one learns and appreciates how broad fear really is!

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