Week to Remember
Keith Watson at the Bloomsbury and the Place.
The Stage, excerpt

In a performance bursting with humour and enthusiasm The Dance Band scored a major success with Everyday Nights, sadly on for one night only at the Bloomsbury.

It was a triumph born of adversity. A mix-up at the printers had left the audience without programmes, thrusting the role of compere on to composer Gary Carpenter who immediately breached the invisible barrier between performer and performed to: "The first half is made up of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. The second half is Sunday, because, well, Sundays seem to last so much longer..."

And the barriers never went up again as the four dancers and four musicians energetically attacked the material, choreographed by Lynn Earnshaw, composed by Carpenter, which ran a gamut of musical and dance styles. This stretched from tango time on Monday through to aerobic gymnastics on Saturday, creating a stylish and amusing parody of human activity.

The Dance Band's winning trick is the interplay of dancers and musicians. In Wednesday Carpenter and two delightfully po-faced cohorts took cross-legged to the stage while the dancers replaced them at the musical instruments. Looking for all the world like the three wise monkeys, the dinner-jacketed musicians proceeded to steal the show with an inspired display of gentle knee twisting.

Sunday, as it turned out, did not last long enough, its amusing send-up of weekend leisure pursuits (ie not getting dressed) over before we'd reached the afternoon movie. This was a shame as it rather unbalanced a work whose humour did not mask a considerable substance.

reviews index | archive index

 © 2000 Gary Carpenter