Mr and Mrs Lampshade is a gaze at a typical dysfunctional family, but the performance format is rather unusual; it’s non-linear, non-verbal and we don’t even get to see the performers’ faces. Instead, personalities are brought out through synchronised movements, dance, film and background music.
The comedic choreography demonstrates the loneliness of the child; her pants dropping whilst tap dancing, the sexually frustrated housewife, with her bottles of pills stashed in various nooks of the set, and the oblivious father, who wants nothing more than peace of mind, but who would occasionally have a waltz with the wife.
What is disconcerting is the fact that each is wearing a lampshade on their head the whole time. We are used to seeing performers with ‘neutral’ expressions, as a signal for us to concentrate on what they’re doing. Here, there is a lampshade (the style of which suits the character’s personality), leaving one baffled as to which aspect of the performance is meant to represent the personalities.
Eventually, all the elements merge naturally and in the space of an hour, it is as though you’ve witnessed the dynamics of a middle class family without the need to watch hours of costume drama.
I was really attracted to the idea of functioning while having your face covered. I’m considering making a ‘social curtain’, where a curtain that is attached to a head piece can be pulled across to cover my face whenever it feels necessary, such as in the middle of an awkward conversation.
Mr and Mrs Lampshade was produced by Dirtyfitgrannies; “An alternative dance theatre and events company based in Cardiff and Bristol”.
Official website = http://www.dirtyfitgranniestheatre.com/
Pics = http://www.flickr.com/photos/davedaggers/sets/72157614301927206/