One of the great pleasures of attending a festival like Vault is the experimental work, which perches itself just on the edge of bonkers: such is Takdaja’s Fruits …
With no discernable beginning, plot, or endings, this show is a series of vignettes and moments which tease at the edges of gender identity.
Early on, performer Michal Szpak reels off a list of ‘others’ beyond the simple ladies and gentlemen. It is a calculated piece of showmanship not unlike the Emcee of Cabaret, who lives in the shadows of the underworld.
Later, he dons a dress, wig, and impossibly high heels, while elsewhere Pat Dynowska does her interior monologue and shares a Polish meat snack with keen members of the audience.
Mimmi Bauer chases a spotlight, literally, and all play with actual fruits of all shapes and sizes – sensually, frugally, and excessively. Often, we are looking through a haze of fog to see glimpses of performative posturing either side of the cavernous space.
Helen Hebert’s design has those plastic trays you see in grocers and fruiterers stacked up and often lit from within, as is an entrance from the public to private space of the Cavern I hadn’t noticed before.
Theodor Spiridon’s lighting and Jack Foran’s music add a spice and liveliness to this piece, which always intrigues and amuses.
I can’t pretend I knew what was going on: the show blurb talks of dreams, space, and time. That’s ok, and laudable, but I would have welcomed something with more focus.
A piece with a fly was fun; a moment of religious reflection turned to sacrilege; a playful countdown seems to snatch at science.. All three performers are talented and fearless, so take more risks, not less!
Fruits, or the Decline of a Distant Memory has now closed at Vault Festival, but read more about Takjada on Twitter.
Tonight’s show was filmed, so hopefully, you will be able to see it in due course. I think it will have a very different feel in digital format (and you’ll probably see me in the audience, too).