Review: Pinch Me


The communication of dreams, the sharing of folklore, an exposition of industrial society, and most importantly a call to arms for an environmental revolution.

A first development created by Katie Farr and the Dead Owl Factory, Pinch Me is an experimental work, incorporating aspects dance theatre, magic realism and traditional storytelling methods in a visually eccentric and rarely disappointing manner. When I usually see dance theatre performances, I watch with reluctance, however this piece kept me engaged and curious to see what happens next because of the excellent juxtaposition of chaotic movement and stillness.

Over the duration of Pinch Me’s 2 week season, the show uses three different performance spaces. The first two shows were on the rooftop of SAE Institute, yesterdays matinees were performed in a loading dock at SAE, and the upcoming week of performances will be staged at The Lucky Duck in Highgate Hill. Using three different spaces for this sort of show creates a real sense of uniqueness, urging for you to come back and see the show again. I have heard an overwhelmingly positive response to the shows that were on the SAE rooftop, and the performance I saw at the SAE loading dock did not fail to please.

The venue worked perfectly with the core focus of the show. The grey concrete walls creating what I would describe as an “industrial black box theatre” provided a great setting for an inherently anti-industrialist piece. The performance space and the venue interacted beautifully, with the “stage”always portraying the franticness of industrial society with well executed physicality accompanied by a continuous soundtrack and video projection (which looked beautiful when projected on the solo-actress’ long white dress). The audio, whilst being a little overwhelming at times, was manipulated skilfully. The actress having to fight over the industrial rumble in the background worked perfectly with the shows vibe.

The content in the show is very rich, dense and needs to be fleshed out more. Talking with the director Katie Farr, we both agreed that this piece does have an exciting future, especially as more content is fully incorporated into the show and the work moves closer towards being a finished product. The show is in essence ambitious, and not all ideas that were shown got across with the audience, however these are the lessons learnt through the creative development process. Being such a multi-modal performance, there are a lot of variables that reuqire large amounts of time and effort. Incorporating the music and projection into the live performance more successfully will result in the show reaching wider audiences with a even more overwhelmingly positive response.

Pinch Me is intimate, exciting and ever evolving. There are two shows remaining of Pinch Me for Anywhere Theatre Festival, and they will be hosted at The Lucky Duck, in Highgate Hill on Thursday the 14th and Saturday the 16th of May, starting at 7:30pm.

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