"Full marks for the choreography"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 22/01/12

Dance Class, at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town, is a one-act play written by, and starring, Andre Radmall. It charts the course of the relationship between Tom (Andre Radmall) and Eve (Pippa Winslow) from their meeting at a conference to the disruption caused to their marriage when Eve joins a dance class run by Ronnie (Kolade Agboke). As well as a drinking problem, infertility and growing frustration at his wife's obsession with dance, Tom also has to contend with the emotional scars left by his hypercritical and loveless mother (Ellie Dickens).

Although Radmall has obviously put a lot of effort into his writing, it is by far the weakest element of the production. The plot twists are obvious and the discussion of addiction too worthy. Even the arresting opening, where Eve interrupts a lecture he is giving to ask him out, seems like an attempt to imitate Neil LaBute. Indeed, when Tom remarks "are you trying to remake me….am I your project?" one is instantly reminded of LaBute's "The Shape of Things", which also has a main character called Evelyn.

However, Winslow and Agboke rescue things with some spectacular Salsa dancing in the scenes between student and pupil, ably supported by Marie Kearney's stage management and lighting design and Philip Mckee's direction. Unsurprisingly for two actors who have substantial professional experience, in both the stage and television, they command the stage in ways that Radmall and Dickens are unable to. However, this should not be read as a criticism of the latter two actors. Indeed, Radmall's attempts at "dancing" got the most laughs of the evening while Dickens ably portrayed her character.

Overall, the staging and direction of Collide Theatre's latest work was better than the underlying material. This is a pity since addiction is obviously an issue that Radmall, as a psychotherapist, is interested in.

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