Ockham’s Razor is a theatre company that specialises in creating aerial work on new equipment. Its philosophy is to keep things simple. For the 29th London International Mime Festival it premieres Arc, along with 2004’s award-winning Memento Mori, and Every Action…, a hit at last year’s ROH2 Firsts season.
Arc takes place on an aerial raft - like a giant oven shelf - that is suspended from the corners and two sides. Its scaffolding poles are set far enough apart for the artists to swing or fall between, static-trapeze style. Adrift, the raft holds three survivors, who interact as one might with strangers after a shipwreck. Unclipping the corners enables the structure to be tilted vertically and rotated through 180 degrees. It is an intriguing concept but neither the narrative nor the circus skills are compelling.
In contrast, Memento Mori - on an aerial rectangle - is full of drama and has a deliciously eerie feel as Death, the spectral Alex Harvey, claims the lovely red-velvet-clad Charlotte Mooney. Based on Holbein’s woodcuts of The Dance of Death, it is exquisite.
But it is the delightfully light-hearted Every Action… that really raises the roof. Harvey and Mooney are joined by Tina Koch and Meline Danielewicz. Now their props are four boxes of ascending size plus a long rope strung over two pulleys. They use their weight expertly to counterbalance each other on the rope, which also becomes a cloudswing, while they become cheeky puppeteers or play mini power games.
Yes it’s simple but extremely effective and great entertainment.