Dance review: Anton Lachky’s ‘thought-provoking’ Side Effects

By January 17, 2016

Theatre & Dance. Leeds.


© Joris De Bolle

Side Effects is an evocative piece, exploring the psyche of a delusional woman as she creates scenes and characters within her mind and transforms them into her reality. The piece includes relational twists, comic and risqué elements and gives insight into the mind of the main character Patricia who seems to be a woman in inner conflict. Is she transforming her repressed inner desires into people she can engage with and control? Control is a large theme in this piece, she claims to be ‘in charge’ and barks orders at the three other characters, one woman and two men, who dutifully obey and perform for her.

© Joris De Bolle

© Joris De Bolle

Her relationships with the characters are complex. She praises her apparent favourite, a man and has intimate and affectionate encounters with him. He in turn dances for her, lurching, tumbling and juddering across the stage, yet maintaining a sheepish, unsure expression. In contrast, Patricia seems to actively dislike the woman, dressed in striking red, screeching at her, slapping and disdaining her. The woman in red remains straight-faced despite the rejection, but dances with jerky movements at times and wriggles her fingers and toes whilst sitting.

The set was minimalist with lights and sound used to convey mood and a microphone being the sole prop. Sounds ranged from a woman singing to a piano, to an upbeat violin piece to the howls of a desolate windswept landscape. Costumes include black trousers and bomber jackets for the men, a red two piece and sparkling evening dresses for the women.

Side Effects is a multi-layered, thought-provoking and entertaining piece which leaves you savouring the complexities, questions and mysteries it presents.

The Anton Lachky Company performed their UK premier of Side Effects on Friday 15th January as part of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance‘s European Connections series.