Bob Henderson

Monger at The Barbican

Jean Genet's The Maids gets an interpretive dance makeover.

Last Friday we got a bit of kul-cha down at the Barbican, watching Barak Marshall's UK debut of Monger. Which is very (very) loosely based on the aforementioned Genet play, which is always enough of an excuse to get us down. The prospect of hot Israeli dancers wasn't exactly a deterrent either. We weren't disappointed:

The omnipresent but unheard Mrs Margaret barks orders (mostly demanding coffee) while the beautiful cast angrily pander to her every need. There are some great moments in the show, and we particularly liked the moments of theatrical comedy; dancers isolated heads become swaddled in cloth and transformed into grotesquely large babies, two men don a red heeled shoe each and put one arm in a dress to create a ghostly randy woman and elsewhere the big hipped, flopped fringed outfits make hilarious raging old women. If anything, it was stronger as a piece of theatre than that of dance, but anything blurring boundaries is alright in our books.

Monger is part of the Dance Umbrella 2010 festival at the Barbican until 30 Oct.

Photo: Gadi Dagon

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