Turns the gut, lights the mind

Sorcha Kenny’s new show is well-travelled ground but a visceral delivery makes it crackle with power



Project Arts Centre, Cube


The raw deal society deals women is hardly a revelation, especially in an age of Feminism 3.0, and using human dolls to express the infantalisation of women and their cruel objectification isn’t either. But Sorcha Kenny’s brave hour somehow makes the obvious feel new. The fragmented references - beauty pageant kids, vaginal surgery, botox for babies, prostitution, pornography - are all of course related, but the pummelling delivery sparks a visceral urgency.

Women are indeed reduced to dolls, things to surgically butcher, play with and abuse, and using such “dolls” as a starting point of articulating this outrage is a brilliantly subversive mechanic, which could never be pulled off were the performances not so piercing.

It’s a tough trick to make something abstract so hard-hitting, but the righteous anger of Dolls, expressed through confrontational choreography and a bombardment of cruel realities told mostly as recordings, turns the gut and lights the mind.

Ends Sept 16