Brexit might be the word on every performer’s lips this month, but Border Tales takes on all of the social nuances buzzing around the country with creativity and intelligent, often humorous, thoughtfulness. The production uses dance, theatre, spoken word and music in a cumulative effort to tackle the stereotypical and bigoted thinking at large in a multicultural post-Brexit Britain.
The 6 international performers (5 dancers and 1 musician) explore the stereotypes homelanders place on migrants and, in turn, the assumptions migrants make about Brits, eloquently connecting dance pieces and live music with elements of spoken word. Some of the finest moments combine interconnecting monologue and dance to great effect, but they would do well to have a little more confidence in their choreography to get the message across. While dialogue between the cast is often insightful, it can, on occasion, come off as somewhat on the nose – an unnecessary criticism when the dance itself is strong enough to carry the narrative.
The live music is a fantastic addition and lifts the whole performance. The personality of the cast really comes through, and you can easily see how connected each of the performers are with their characters’ stories, all based on real life. One of the greatest successes comes in the honesty of the performers, allowing them to make a real and sincere point about current day Britain without preaching to the audience. However, the 80 minute production could benefit from a slightly shorter running time, for a more distilled, concentrated piece.
Words: Chiara Margiotta
Picture: Chris Nash
Border Tales, Summerhall, Aug 8-26 (not 14, 21), 2.40pm