Gem of a show exploring grief and loss
This article is from 2012.
Perle shows a life on pause. A man sits in front of a television, feeding it one VHS tape after another. At first he seems like any other screen-junkie, swapping the big wide world for the small screen, but gradually an unshakeable grief reveals itself. Square-eyes, it seems, don’t shed so many tears.
Based on an anonymous 14th century poem, Dancing Brick’s live-cartoon is a duet between man and machine. Thomas Eccleshare remains silent, too brittle to speak. His words appear in onscreen speech bubbles. Elsewhere, he reaches behind to pick up a line-drawn phone in Serge Seidlitz’s animation or make himself a 2D sandwich. Still hungry afterwards, he simply rewinds the tape with an impish smile.
Perle won’t show you grief in a new light; in fact, it takes a superbly delicate, upbeat performance from Eccleshare to stave off sentimentality. Instead, it’s a perfectly-formed miniature, slight but exquisite. The metaphor of television unlocks the original: home-movies stand in for memories and the world fades to black and white. In short, Perle’s a gem.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 26 Aug, 1.45, £9–£10 (£8–£9).