Queer Words (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Queer Words

Very likeable three-hander focusing on identity and language

This disarming little LGBTQ production from the Birmingham-based Autin Dance Theatre takes a while to find its feet, but it certainly is in touch with its heels.

Raised footwear features in an opening number that finds strapping Joshua Toft-Wild, angel-locked Oliver Sale and forthright performance poet Bethany Slinn sashaying about the bare stage to a pumped-up dance track. There are other, mainly clubby (and, in truth, not always especially revelatory) bits of dance in a performance that focuses more on the language we use to identify ourselves and others than on movement.

And gradually, to its credit, the piece's initial, somewhat fuzzy intentions become clearer and sharper. Much of the text – by turns satirical, sincere, frank or downright rude – has, I suspect, been devised by the cast in collaboration with choreographer-director Johnny Autin and dramaturg Neus Gil Cortes. The genuinely likeable trio onstage give voice to observations, feelings and self-admissions that add up to an open-minded and activist depiction of queer pride.

Not all of the show's devices quite work, eg asking anyone in the audience who cares to reply if they spit or swallow. But there's no denying that the performers do their best to generate a sometimes provocative and pleasing sense of engagement.

Greenside @ Infirmary Street, until 25 Aug (not 19), 4.15pm, £10 (£8).

Queer Words

  • 3 stars

Autin Dance Theatre Queer Words: stand-up comedy meets dance theatre! Performed by an all-LGBTQ cast of three exceptional performers, Queer Words is a bold, provocative, and multidisciplinary performance. Combining storytelling, spoken word, dance and physical theatre, Queer Words investigates toxic ideals and the crisis…