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The Wedding review at Home, Manchester – ‘beautiful imagery’

The cast of The Wedding at Home, Manchester. Photo: Richard Haughton The cast of The Wedding at Home, Manchester. Photo: Richard Haughton
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There are two ways you can experience The Wedding, visual theatre company Gecko’s latest piece; you can either read the brief programme blurb beforehand, or you can have absolutely no idea what they’re driving at throughout. Having unwittingly tried the latter, I can only recommend the former.

Director Amit Lahav asserts that the theme of the work is how “each of us is a bride, wedded to society”. To this end, his multi-national cast – all speaking in their own languages – perform a series of clownish dance-sketches, which do at least contain a number of wedding dresses, along with generous chunks of the wedding music from Wagner’s Lohengrin, an impromptu Jewish wedding, and a perplexing sequence about an Arab refugee and his wife living in a suitcase, which appears to end in an attempted suicide bombing.

It’s true that there are also some beautiful images in this 80 minutes piece, although far fewer that feel remotely original; Gecko owe a considerable debt to Complicite’s Street of Crocodiles and to Hofesh Shechter’s recent oeuvre.

It’s pretty to look at and performed with great conviction and gusto but ultimately its flimsy thesis doesn’t hold water and isn’t lucidly enough explored for the suggestion to intrigue.

At the end, the entire cast line the front of the stage and rousingly sing what might as well be Tomorrow Belongs to Me in Maori for all the light it sheds on what has gone before.

 

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Verdict
Though performed with great care and skill Gecko’s latest show feels vapid and flimsy
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