The new piece from quirky cabaret and performance artists RashDash explores whether monogamy really is right for us.
One’s exotic: the sort of louche sophisticate who swishes through European cities and smokes thin little cigarettes. The other’s neurotic: a filer of greetings cards, a cosmetics compulsive. These two young women are the best of best friends – but one of them just moved in with a guy and it’s stretching them to breaking point.
Physical theatre duo RashDash – Abbi Greenland and Helen Goalen – dive into an almighty clash of personalities: the distance between the conventional and the carefree. Where one (Goalen) wants a marriage and a mortgage, the other lives day to day and hand to mouth – but she also wants her best friend all to herself. What she can’t do, though, is commit forever – the very thing that Goalen’s character needs.
You don’t need to be Sigmund Freud to perceive the roots of all this. It’s RashDash trying to work out how to work together, despite their differences, and there’s a real urgency in that.
But they’re shrewd enough not to navel-gaze too much and the focus on marriage instils both universality and a sharp feminist kick. There are some punchy images: a lolloping, clichéd proposal, delivered through a voice distorter, goes out to a mute figure in a glitterball gimp-mask; a woman drowns in a polythene veil. Elsewhere, though, the choreography feels vague.
There’s a smart, logical case against monogamy and a feisty medley of possessive pop songs but, like a lot of devised companies, RashDash rely too heavily on lists within their texts. A shame, because they write well. “I want to choose you every day,” Greenland pleads. Let’s hope RashDash work out their differences; they’re one of the best young companies out there.