Roller review

Theatre
3 out of 5 stars
 (© Lidia Crisafulli)
1/6
© Lidia Crisafulli
 (© Lidia Crisafulli)
2/6
© Lidia Crisafulli
 (© Lidia Crisafulli)
3/6
© Lidia Crisafulli
 (© Lidia Crisafulli)
4/6
© Lidia Crisafulli
 (© Lidia Crisafulli)
5/6
© Lidia Crisafulli
 (© Lidia Crisafulli)
6/6
© Lidia Crisafulli

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

An experimental theatre show exploring feminism, the future and the roller derby phenomenon

Two women – 15ft high with elongated black skirts – are wheeled on to the stage. Towering over the audience, looking like they’re straight out of a terrifying sci-fi they start to recite their manifesto for the feminist revolution. The world is on the cusp of change and this is how the future should look. 

Alongside them is a roller derby team, working together on the floor to create a giant yellow fabric ellipse. Through snippets of speech and movement, we learn that against the odds they’ve created a team, teaching themselves how to skate and compete.  

This is ‘Roller’, a short piece of experimental theatre from live art duo Rachel Mars and nat tarrab (who also play the two lofty orators). And those two strands are a nice juxtaposition of the theoretical and personal. ‘Roller’ is gently thought-provoking, exploring what a future feminist world might look like and musing on the role of anger and aggression in driving change – whether it’s out on the streets or on the roller rink. And while it’s serious at heart, a few lols are also thrown in. Even if they’re of the dark variety. 

‘Roller’ is thrilling to look at: for starters, it’s hard to get those haunting, gigantic figures out of your mind. And the roller team’s bright yellow ‘rink’ – assembled over the course of the show – is equally striking. But overall I felt there was a lack of emotional punch. I wanted more stories from the roller derby women, something that dragged the theoretical and the intellectual slap bang into relatable everyday life.

By: Gail Tolley

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