Gecko: The Wedding at the Barbican
Returning to London after its initial run as part of the London International Mime Festival 2019, Gecko’s The Wedding is a thought-provoking reflection of the unwitting and entangled relationship humanity has with society.
Directed by Amit Lahav, this production follows the lives of several archetypal characters, played by an ensemble of nine performers, guiding us through a “dystopian world in which we are all brides, wedded to society”.
The Wedding challenges the notion of what it truly means to be married, whether to a job, friends, family or indeed a spouse. Through the use of interpretive dance, for the most part, the audience is made to question the difference between the joy of a wedding day and the reality of what marriage can be. Lahav describes it as the “battle between anger and love”, and this is evident through Dave Price’s orchestrations. The use of music is pertinent to the show as it is one of the only consistent mediums of communicating with spectators. Though there are several different languages used, they are often overlapping each other throughout the piece. Although interesting, this comes as a distraction to what could otherwise be quite a compelling dance show. The technique may be aimed at making viewers confused and uncomfortable, however, it fails to do much more than that. While a brilliant idea in theory, the execution falls slightly short of the mark.
After the onslaught of confusion, the reward is most certainly be the finale. It is almost a relief to experience the a capella sounds of the ensemble rousing the audience and creating the ultimate feeling of unity. If more of the show had been more balanced with moments like this, it would have been a more fulfilling experience.
It seems the aim of The Wedding is to leave the audience slightly disorientated and overwhelmed – but as to whether it calls them to question why they feel that way in the long run, the answer is unfortunately not. This show presents an avant-garde approach to reality that many will leave bewildered and chalk up to an “interesting” experience, not much more.
Gecko: The Wedding is at the Barbican from 7th June until 11th June 2022. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.