So What If I Dance?
Original show deconstructing stripping fails to develop characters or engage with issues presented
This article is from 2014.
Over the past few years, plays about lap-dancing have spread across the Fringe. Some of them warn about the dangers; others, like So What If I Dance? are more positive.
Most of these pieces come under autobiographical theatre, adding an element of realism. Unfortunately, David Kingsmill's script comes from the school of heavy research and the monologue is filled with statistics and fragments of stories that have been told before. The lap-dancer feels like an amalgam of different women, a stereotype who is working her way through college, has grand ambitions, knows someone who got cut up by a jealous boyfriend.
Nevertheless, a strong central performance and a sprightly direction makes the most of the action, with dance routines interspersed between the talk. Although there is plenty of information packed into the short show, there is little attempt to develop the character or fully engage with the issues presented. It is an original idea to avoid the usual conflicts, to neither make the dancer a hero or victim. However, this also means that there is no dramatic tension, no plot, and no amount of sensual dancing can replace them.
Sweet Grassmarket, 243 3596 , until Aug 17, (not 11,19), 8pm, £7(£6).