FRINGE '04 REVIEW: I Am Skelly
I Am Skelly at Paramount Theatre
Reviwed by Liz Smith
Star rating: 4**** = impressive
FRINGE '04: I Am Skelly
Inspired by the medieval danse macabre, where Death personified leads all to the grave, I am Skelly’s “eternal clown” dances out the final moments of figures from the past.
Skelly (Rhys Latton) embodies all the other characters in turn. Huge stage presence, an unnatural facility for dance and his grinning skeleton-face, make Skelly a convincing supernatural figure, benign and evil all at once.
During the performance dance, music, words and video are blended to explore the last taboo. Snatches of poetry guide us through the stories of the different characters, while music heightens and explicates the drama.
These are not the peaceful deaths most hope for, but tragic, violent deaths – at sea, by fire or by the axe.
Skelly’s dance is both gleeful and sad, coloured by the irony that a dance of death can be so vibrant and alive. This celebration of the transient beauty of mortal flesh left me wanting to dance every moment of life to the full.