Review: The Wedding, Northern Stage

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The Wedding by Gecko             Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne

The trials and tribulations of marriages of all sorts are brought to light, dismantled and re-conjugated in Gecko’s newest offering, The Wedding. New arrivals drop onto the stage after a whirlwind romance overheard by the audience as though we have a glass against a dorm room wall. They shoot out of a tunnel slide and land in a pile of misplaced and forgotten innocence – each arrival leaves their teddy bear on the pile and goes in pursuit of their dream dress and their contractual existence. Gecko use their trademark physicality to shift between time and space, and escort us on a journey of overrun offices filled with overenthusiastic and overworked staff. Within this frenzied atmosphere that resembles a poetic wall street hosting a brief case endowed nu wave cha cha slide, we experience relationships. Each is shared between two characters and we feel everything from anger and love, to confusion and loss. We are there with them. And reminded of every occasion that we wanted – no needed – to scream, to be held, to let go, to get out, to be seen, to belong. To be.

It is rare that you go to the theatre and experience an ensemble being and then laughing, and then being whilst laughing. The final moment of The Wedding will stay with me for a long time. As the cast brought their chairs to the stage edge, set them down and let their lights come up, they made the most beautiful body percussion which brought every emotion to the surface. I was compelled to join in, not because I was happy, but because I could truly feel. I could feel despite limitations that I have placed on myself and that others have placed upon me.

When I saw The Institute a few years back, I thought it was the most incredible piece of physical theatre I had ever seen. Now having seen The Wedding, I have concluded that Gecko have a way with movement as Margaret Atwood has a way with words. Awaiting their next offering with anticipation…

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