LONDON INTERNATIONAL MIME FESTIVAL 2015
It often seems that the shows and post-show discussions have an inverse relation, in terms of quality. Needless to say, the post-show discussion for Black Regent was pretty weak. Just two pleasant enough seeming folk making sounds with their mouths and hands, and only really ever making sense when explaining how the intensity that they convey on stage is an unquantifiable and inexplicable phenomenon.
Black Regentis basically a solo dance piece with live electronic accompaniment. Iona Kewney is a dancer with a background in visual art; her movement is expressionistic, and heavily improvised. It has an erratic and mesmeric feel that is almost unearthly. Joseph Quimby is a musician who composes and sings in tandem with Iona. His composition for Black Regent is minimal and synth heavy, with an orchestral feel and occasional noise undertones.
The show itself is a kind of audiovisual poem, consisting of a series of phases, each with a quite definite but hard to define ambience. There are almost certainly narrative threads to be discerned: people alone in space, people united, people going somewhere. But to try and pin this show down – as the room collectively failed to do in the post-show discussion – would be to miss the obvious: that this show is an experience – strange, powerful and unlike anything else.