Border Tales (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Border Tales

credit: Jane Hobson

Multi-culturalism in post-Brexit Britain is at the core of this generally winning mix of dance, text and music

Political events in the UK and globally have made this lively and intermittently engaging collage of movement, speech and music even more relevant than when Luca Silvestrini's company Protein premiered it in 2014. Devised by the original cast, most of whom are still performing in it, and stitched together from their experiences, this now slightly reworked show takes immigration and the great (and sometimes greatly troubled) British cultural melting pot as its main subjects.

Loosely structured around a welcome party for a group of disparate guests, Silvestrini and an international cast of seven have some serious fun playing with a host of stereotypical assumptions, often based on appearance or country of origin, that might arise before people can truly begin to know each other. Standouts in the cast include the gently leonine Salah El Brogy and Yuyu Rau, while Andy Gardiner gradually transcends caricature as a camp, motor-mouthed bigot.

Forced or phoney bits – mainly in the script – are kept to a minimum, while the dancing is uniformly excellent (especially an exhilarating, full-throttle ensemble finale). A good line to keep in mind on the subject of socio-cultural assimilation: 'Is it about my past, or is it about your future?'

Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 14, 21), 2.40pm, £13 (£11).

Border Tales

  • 3 stars

Thought-provoking commentary on multicultural Britain through dance, live music and dialogue compiled from the performers’ personal experiences.

Protein: Border Tales

  • 3 stars

A look at multicultural Britain through dance, live music and dialogue compiled from the performers' own experiences.