Sunday, 27 January 2013

Manipulate 101: Buzzcut@Manipulate

When Gary Barlow made his ill-advised comments on a certain act being "too cabaret" (and thereby leading to the creation of the only interesting new tune to come out of X-Factor), he wasn't thinking of cabaret in the sense of a variety evening but a more generic fascination with sequins and show-stopping songs.  Buzzcut@manipulate might have an air of cabaret in its diversity of performers but the acts aren't likely to be transferring to a cruise ship anytime soon.

Buzzcut, having had a strong year since their inaugural festival in 2012, brings their signature series of intimate pieces, Five Minutes to Move Me and a couple of shows from artists that they have been working with for a longer period. Murray Wason is having a peek at the robotic future in Automaton while Sarah Hopfinger is looking forward to These Old Age Present Moments.

Both Wason and Hopfinger are associated with the dynamic contemporary practice performance that has made Glasgow a centre for Live Art. Wason appeared in Nic Green's successful Trilogy and makes his own pieces, exploring masculinity and Scottish identity. He also has one of the most disarming smiles in show business. Meanwhile, Hopfinger has shown an interest in environmental change, theatre for building communities and the importance of Bob Dylan songs in the context of naming children.

Despite grappling with serious stuff and coming from a tradition known for its commitment to experimentation, Wason and Hopfinger are lightly humorous and utterly charming.

 The final name on the bill is Carles Casallachs. Por Sal y Samba sits on the uncomfortable line between erotic play and domestic violence and features the use of a soft drink as a weapon in the sex wars.

A value for money evening, this one is at Summerhall - last Fringe's hip venue.

3 February 2012

Will appeal to fans of: Torture Garden (BDSM themes in Por Sal), Live Art, samba dancers, science (experimental theatre, see. Plus robots), intimate theatre, emerging performers, thrill seeking

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