Father Figurine: a quick review

Image of two dancers, credit Josh Tomalin

Image of the two performers, credit Josh Tomalin

I went to see Father Figurine a while ago at the Omnibus Theatre in London.
I was going because I wanted to support the two performers in it – Isaac Ouro-Gnao and Tyrone Isaac-Stuart. They’re both gifted multi-talented individuals, forging their own ways as they develop the kind of multidisciplinary performance that no conventional career development route is set up to support.

I have no time to review them and no time to write this. Juggling my Social Startup, DanceGRiST, managing my health and campaigning against Brexit is already hard enough. However, something this powerful must be celebrated, especially because it will be back in London – at Stratford Circus – in March.

It’s a harrowing story. Spoken word (Isaac’s), dance, sound themes, acting, music (Tyrone’s arrangement I believe) and story run through subtly changing cycles representing the repetitive nature of the subjects’ lives. It’s totally engrossing, you feel for both characters and are carried along in the world on the stage and are so bound up with the characters and their story that consciousness of the outside world disappears.

No spoilers here, and I’m not going to copy the blurb on the program either, but the experience highlights the trouble that both men and boys have, in communicating deep feelings and depression. And that’s the point. While the work stands as art in and of itself, it has also been created to highlight the problems with mental health our society is thus far powerless to help. The statistics shared as part of the work are scary, but I’m not going to share them here either because I’d rather they hit you as they hit me, as a shocking factual coda to a strong and well-conceived piece of work.

 

Father Figurine; which premiered last year at Resolutions, is performed at Scarborough, Banbury, Didcot and London. Find out more at https://www.bodypoliticdance.com/productions/father-figurine/

(Photo submitted and uploaded after this review. There will be a related blog post in the future but I have no time now)