Made in China’s last show, Gym Party, was praised for its distinctive voice and their new production, Tonight I’m Going To Be The New Me, is just as quirky and unique.
It’s almost a one woman show, with Jessica Latowicki taking centre stage to dance, discuss and generally downplay her relationship with co-creator, Tim Cowbury. But Tim is present, too, except he’s off stage; perching in the lighting box, providing intermittent commentary. So the show becomes a peculiarly personal insight into the nature of love and relationships.
The show begins with a high-intensity dance; a mixture between apoplectic, abusive and sexual movement which is entirely absorbing. But, as soon as Latowicki stops moving and starts talking, any sense of high brow performance art is dashed with her opening line, “like my dance?”. This then sets the bathetic tone of the whole performance: perceptive insights into the highs and lows of a modern relationship punctuated by dead-pan silliness.
A self aware act of storytelling, Jessica tells us of Tim’s decision to take some ‘time-out’, but as we work through and work-over this one storyline Jessica seems at risk of drifting off into the hyper-real or the unreal. Instead of telling us her story, she tells a version of her story with the sort of embellishments that might make us think her relationship with Tim is romantic, or heroic or perfect.
The audience isn’t allowed to slip into this hyper-real version of events for too long, however, as they are quick to break the illusion of performance. Tim might remind her of a line she’s missed, or they might bicker, or simply stop proceedings for a beer. Either way, we soon feel that the many layers of this performance are dizzying, which might just signify the dizzying effects of love or simply show that telling the story of your relationship is never straightforward: we get carried away in the performance of our own lives.