Gecko: The Wedding

Reviewer's Rating

Renowned physical theatre company Gecko marks its debut at the Barbican with “The Wedding” as part of the line-up for this year’s London International Mime Festival. The company’s seventh creation, “The Wedding” features an ensemble of nine international performers who guide the audience through an energetic and visually sumptuous performance. Combining dance, movement and music, this new show draws on a wide-range of influences and tells a tale of class, society and revolution.

Centred around our social contract with the state, the performers, both male and female, come out of a shute-cum-womb, shed their teddy bears and take the final step towards adulthood wearing a pearly white dress and signing a contract. Giddy and optimistic about their prospects at first, they soon find themselves being cogs in a machine, ruled by a bacchanalian upper class. Not all “cogs” are unhappy though, some revel in the structure and security, some find it restrictive and want to rebel, for others the restriction is not always worth the insecurity and chaos of being-out-there without a safety net. And let’s not forget the interlopers, the ones trying to get in, invisible and unwanted, the others. The luxury of being part of the contract and choosing to keep it or break it in contrast to the ones ineligible, the ones on the margins. “The Wedding” closes with a divorce, revolution seems to take seed, hands are clapping, feet are stomping, things are broken.

With expertly choreographed physicality and minimal dialogue, Gecko allows the audience members to interpret and resonate with the performance based on their personal experiences. The symbolism and the imagery become the stimuli and our own experiences and world view our guide throughout the performance. It is definitely a piece of physical theatre that’s easy to correlate to current affairs but it should not be restricted solely to that and on a different conjecture, different elements would draw the audience’s attention. Despite the fact that some scenes are a bit repetitive making them superfluous to the narrative, Gecko delivers a resonant and engaging performance that ticks all the boxes.