Short & Sweet
London MIME Festival 2022

Reviewer's rating

Thick & Tight is an award-winning dance company run by Daniel Hay-Gordon and Eleanor Perry. I must admit that despite their prolific career – with shows at Sadler’s Wells, Southbank, Royal Opera House and the Tate Britain – this was the first time I had the chance to experience one of their shows!

Unfortunately Covid-19 ended up hitting some of the members of ‘SHORT&SWEET’, resulting in some unfortunate losses. But despite these challenges, the remaining of the team managed to put a unique show for whoever came down to Barbican’s Pit Theatre on Wednesday night. A long message was projected at the start of show, letting us know that this was not the exact show they had intended us to watch because of many and different members of the company having to self-isolate, but nonetheless promising to make up for any last-minute adaptations.

To be honest had we not been warned, we wouldn’t have known of the fact that something was ‘wrong’. The opening piece – Two Moths in Real Time – ended up being just One Solitary Moth, as co-creator Eleanor Perry was hit by Covid. Daniel Hay-Gordon was excellent however, and did not seem lonesome at all in the beautiful costume designed by Tim Spooner. The precise discipline of the movement, as well as the simple and effective lighting created a striking opening of the night.

The rest of the show was a rich potpourri of 9 new works, which varied in style but often matched in aesthetic and themes. The audience were brought face to face with a variety of famous – and infamous – characters, such as Sid Vicious, Twiggy, Grace Jones, Rasputin, John Cage and Elaine Paige. A mixture of drag, lip-syncing, storytelling and contemporary dance, coupled with excellent music and incredible performers gave us a night to remember.

One of the highlights was Azara Meghie’s performance as Grace Jones: fiery, feminist and fierce! We also loved the extremely talented Connor Scott and his lip-syncing as punk artist Sid Vicious. It would be unfair not to make a special mention to every single piece in this variety show: Daniel Hay-Gordon (sadly without Eleanor Perry live on stage!) with members of Corali Dance Company on a tribute to Edith Sitwell, Daniel Hay-Gordon with Tim Spooner in an ode to Daniel’s family and Owen Ridley-DeMonick (excellent design too), ‘I Wanted A Killer’ for the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, Harry Alexander’s amazing Twiggy, the very interesting depiction of Rasputin, and of course the satirical and brilliant Cage & Paige: We Could Go On and On.

It was clear that the audience at the Barbican’s Pit Theatre were thoroughly enjoying themselves! We do hope we get to see more of this company’s work in the future, and even perhaps the full version of this show post-covid.