Thus Spoke . . . (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Thus Spoke . . .

Rock'n'roll collides with philosophy in this irresistible show

Doing its bit to cement Montreal's reputation as the world's coolest city, Thus Spoke … is an unexpectedly winning slice of dance, theatre, music and philosophy. Four performers – Fréderic Lavallée, Marilyn Perreault, David Strasbourg and Anne Thériault – bounce around, their energy filling the bare, backlit stage more than any props ever could. They each take turns at the mic, taking on a variety of loosely existential themes: salaries, for example, are awesome, and some shows, you know, are just shit, no matter how hard you look for the good in them. And in between, they move around in sensual shapes and striking rhythms, to a stonking soundtrack of guitars and electro-pop.

If it sounds nonsensical, it is. But surrender to its philosophical drumbeat and you'll find yourself in the middle of a show that pulses with experimental spirit and makes thinking hard fun.

Directors Frédérick Gravel and Étienne Lepage are two of Montreal's most celebrated artists. Here, Gravel's choreography and Lepage's words come together in an impressive display of Canada's theatrical talent. Keep an eye out especially for Lavallée's 'backspace' routine, a masterclass in absurd physical humour.

As is clear from its title (a play on Nietzsche's novel, Thus Spake Zarathustra), Thus Spoke … is unrestrained in its existential engagement. It's refreshing to come up against a show that doesn't make allowances in its aesthetic for the sake of a few more people through the door. Go, be challenged and have fun – you'll come out energised and grinning.

CanadaHub @ King's Hall, until 27 Aug (not 14, 21), 7.30pm, £10 (£8).

Thus Spoke…

  • 4 stars

Provocative dance/theatre, mashing up movement, theatre and rock ‘n’ roll Four performers take on the contradictions of society in a clever, sexy piece of existential pop. Exploding the conventions of both theatre and dance, Thus Spoke… is a magnificently playful antidote to misery and apathy. Directed by acclaimed author…