Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind

Life-affirming show from engaging ex-academic

Detour is the one-woman show from multidisciplinary performer Diana Dinerman, who quit her History PhD. As an ex-academic, it seems fitting that this performance is pitched as a faux lecture (with additional meditation and dance). The piece analyses life issues like listening to your body, dealing with struggles, the best (and worst) ways to make new beginnings and how to keep your identity intact throughout.

The setting for this show is minimal but the bare performance space is filled with the performer's captivating presence. Dinerman uses thought-provoking anecdotes to speak frankly of her experiences and is quick to expose her bad behavioural patterns that are central to the show. At this point in her life, she is unapologetic for the mistakes she has made and has instead churned them into empowering parts of her personality.

Dinerman is a confident, intriguing and engaging performer who delivers a quick-witted show at a racing pace. A true raconteur, she transports the whole room to various defining moments of her life with poetic flair. She is able to articulate ineffable emotions and sensations with such clarity that in these moments, the show moves the audience and begins to feel like the self-help talk everybody in attendance genuinely needed. This finesse, paired with slick lighting and sound production, makes the hour feel perfectly polished.

The show examines feminist concerns with kick-ass style and tears apart social stereotypes with sophisticated ease. Her approach to such a prevalent subject matter is far from typical, as she uses elements of dance to deconstruct matters like the silencing of the female body, before demanding outright that the world cannot keep editing over the same old manuscripts.

This trailblazing show ties everything together neatly in the same manner that Dinerman seems to have become attuned to all elements of her own life, before ending with a positive message about embracing life's detours and rejecting its pressures.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug (not 13), 2.35pm, £10-£11 (£9-£10).

Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind

  • 4 stars

Diana Dinerman A show about getting lost and getting found. Diana Dinerman was a history professor on a PhD track, specialising in a niche area of Modern Dance history… then she became a stand-up comedian. Then life fell apart! She took a leap, fell on her face, and found her way to her feet. Detour is an inspiring…