The Life and Times of Girl A @ Zoo Southside

Beyond Words (If we're using them for reviews)

Feature by Mark Harding | 10 Aug 2010

The show is based around the fantasy of seeing your own life as a film. Girl A is the star, and like most of us, she doesn't actually have a film crew and script to hand. What she does have are dancers; who take the parts of film actors, dancers, memories, conscience, emotions and Furies.

So we have a film within a play - with the added tension between drama or dance in taking the dominant role.

But this is not pointless intellectual trickery. The solipsistic focus is used to explore the tender deep secrets we hide from others, and even from ourselves. Within this theme, the stunning text keeps humour ever-present as it negotiates farce, narrative, surrealism and heart-touching drama.

Gradually, however, dancers take control, refusing to collude in the evasions that Girl A uses to shield her emotional hurt, culminating in a wordless dance sequence that releases all the tensions of the piece to deliver an incredible emotional punch.

It's astonishing that one single company can produce such complex, accomplished theatrical work combined with dazzling dance sequences – all fine-tuned to convey heart-stopping emotion.

A treat from start to finish, and a rare combination of the poignant, powerful and delightful.

The Life and Times of Girl A, Zoo Southside, alternating dates, 7pm, £12