New Art Club (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

New Art Club

Emotional rollercoaster about image and health

Tom Roden and Pete Shenton have been merging their ‘choreographic minimalism’ and light comedy for 12 years now, but it’s unlikely they will have delivered quite so personal a show as this one. As the crowd gathers, we are given a couple of separate warnings that Feel About Your Body contains full-frontal nudity (presumably this acts as a reminder to those who have already purchased their tickets).

When the flesh-unveiling does arrive, it’s highly amusing, non-threatening (though those occupying the front row and directly in the line of fire might have a different opinion) and far from exploitative. The show is about our own body image when it’s wiped clean from any outside interpretation: crudely put, if you can come to terms with your body, you will be generally be a lot happier about yourself.

The opening segment features a few warm-up exercises (for us and them) while the pair ask us our opinion about the shape we are in (on a scale of one to ten). There’s some minor audience embarrassment before we get into the hour’s meat (yes, both a terrible pun and a reference to one of the health concerns dealt with). Shenton has a harrowing (with funny bits) tale of his near-death experience which offers some advice on what to do should you think you might be having a heart attack. The fact that his partner is heavily pregnant when his health crisis looms gives the story an extra spin and puts into perspective Roden’s rather icky story about his own middle-of-the-night medical issue.

They probably aren’t moving around as much as they did back in 2001 (though their dual impersonation of lightbulb-bothering moths has plenty energy to it), but they have sharpened up their comic sensibility and storytelling ability to compensate. It makes Feel About Your Body an entertaining and emotional hour.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 13, 20), 6.45pm, £12–£14 (£11).

New Art Club: Feel About Your Body

  • 3 stars

An uplifting, life-affirming, hilarious spectacle about how we feel about our bodies. Expect silliness, see a man talking to his bottom and find out what not to do during a heart attack. Warning: This show has already left some people feeling a little bit dirty. Contains some brief nudity (long enough to see the works).