Opening Night: The Damned Girl

Impulse Theatre’s The Damned Girl is a physical/dance theatre performance about polarities of light and dark, fate and choice. Created and directed by Andrew Barrett, the piece explores two opposing extremes, played by two women, depicting light and dark. While these two women portray a duality, they are simultaneously one and the same. Their world is inhabited by playful children, fate and another darker, dividing force.

I saw The Damned Girl on its opening night. The cast of eleven dance/theatre performers performed solidly, taking advantage of their space and number. For the most part, they moved and sang well (yes there is singing), although the slower dramatic scenes were sometimes too heavy. I could tell that this production involved a great deal of work and practice.

While I loved the cords and props that were used, certain aspects of the costumes and music stood out in distracting ways.

What I appreciated most about The Damned Girl was the clarity and mutability of the storyline. The storyline had obvious meaning, yet there were many ways audience members could interpret and relate to the story. The performance contained conflict and betrayal as well as playfulness, humour and caring, though the former tended to outweigh the latter.

Personally, The Damned Girl evoked the physical transformation of playfulness and fun into violence. While I was glad to have gone to this show, I found the constant emotional drama too much. By a certain point the over-saturation of emotion made it hard for me to relate to the characters and story.

I liked The Damned Girl. If the themes appeal to you, go check it out.

I also saw Love is for Superbeasts on its opening night, which I really enjoyed. Writer Mily Mumford used her knowledge of pathology and forensic science to create a funny and interesting dark comedy. Phoenix will be bringing you a full review of Love is for Superbeasts early next week.

-Robyn

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