Assisted Solo review: Humorous, clever dance theatre
Dublin Fringe Festival: Philip Connaughton celebrates his dementia-affected mother
Assisted Solo: Philip Connaughton, Lucia Kickham and Magali Caillet dance personal solos and snippets from past works as if searching for an essence to their own identity. Photograph: Luca Truffarelli
Project, Space Upstairs
★ ★ ★ ★
Assisted Solo is both a heartfelt celebration of Philip Connaughton’s mother, Madeleine, and a meditation on how the past defines the present. Dementia frays this connection, yet much is remembered. Madeleine, appearing on film, mightn’t remember his name, but she remembers that she adores him, and her charm and sense of humour radiate unchanged.
Connaughton, and the excellent Lucia Kickham and Magali Caillet, dance personal solos containing life memories and snippets from past works as if searching for an essence to their own identity. (Madeleine’s seems summed up by joyous full-throated renditions of Tomorrow, from Annie.) These solos are coloured by depictions of the loving day-to-day relationship between mother and son and the constant frustrating sense of just about coping.
Never maudlin, Assisted Solo is humorous and clever dance theatre that goes beyond the personal to pose bigger questions for our hearts and brains.
Runs until Saturday, September 15th