"Effect was fascinating, original, mesmerising"
by John Phillips for remotegoat on 11/01/18

Gymnasia is a word derived from ancient Greek which signifies a room or building equipped for gymnastics, games or other physical exercise. From the late sixteenth century on, the word has been used to denote 'naked exercise'. In this extraordinary show, a young man (Andrew Crayford) and woman (Natasha Jervis), both naked, bring the word to life, striking a large number of physical poses most of which appear extremely demanding. All of these poses, devised by the actors themselves, involve the cooperation and indeed physical support of the other. At the performance I attended, audience were exclusively comprised of artists engaged in drawing the figures struck by the actors. According to those I spoke to in the interval, most if not all had returned to continue or complete the art work they had begun the previous night, sketching these poses which were accompanied, and indeed probably inspired by the wonderful guitar music - Estas Tonne -- The Inside - which played continuously throughout the performance. There was no set to speak of with the exception of a few cloths draped across the floor of the stage. Lighting effects helped to create an atmosphere appropriate to the occasion of two naked young people working together to strike what often appeared to be near impossible physical poses. The overall effect was fascinating, original, mesmerising. One might add another word of Greek origin - erotic - but without being sexually arousing. This show is clearly aimed at artists and students keen to sketch the figures and poses struck, but anyone would find the effects produced extremely interesting. The show continues every evening until Saturday 13th January at 7.30pm, ending at 9.30pm, and including a thirty minute interval. Highly recommended to artists in particular, but anyone with an interest in the physical potential of the human body will find this display spell-binding and original, a rare opportunity to view the artistic depiction of exercise naked.

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