Pros: Well-executed choreography
Cons: The ‘princess’ failed to connect with the audience
Do not be fooled by the title – Stuart Saint’s Princess is an unconventional tale of feminism expressed through movement and an electro-pop soundtrack. Not expecting a dance piece, I was surprised by this 65 minute show that features non-stop movement by six talented female and male dancers/actors, accompanied by the protagonist princess played by Jennie Dickie. Throughout the piece we see the journey of the princess, who is fighting her demons of striving to be ‘a perfect princess’. But as much as I would have liked to connect with the character, Dickie’s expressionless acting failed to engage with either the other characters or the audience.
As you enter the auditorium, there are scattered old-school television sets front of stage and a single stuffed toy rabbit. When the show starts, it is as if you are sucked into an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ video game jam-packed with action; an innocent princess is lured in by a white rabbit, to be surrounded with provocative dancers and Pacmen.
The female dancers wear extravagant goth-style costumes and the males are almost always stripped down to the waist. One of the most impressive dance routines involves a colourful parachute-like material that balloons over the dancers, creating an enticing illusion. The dancers execute their complex costume changes well, and their physical strength is extremely impressive.
Just as the show surprised me, so LOST Theatre is a hidden gem in the heart of Vauxhall. Going through a small entrance, you climb the stairs to the first floor, where a compact foyer, including a bar, awaits. The auditorium is a well-designed space, which allows the audience a full-view of the stage from any seat.
What impressed me the most about Princess was the dedication of the six dancers. They executed the choreography beautifully, and were intensely focused on every little movement that occurred on stage. Described as a rock ballet, this is a showcase of Stuart Saint’s exciting and maybe a tad twisted imagination. If you are a dance lover, this piece is well worth seeing. It will shock you, maybe even leave you speechless, but you definitely will not forget it.
Author: Stuart Saint
Director: Stuart Saint
Choreographers: Lana Avis and Gwen Jones
Booking Until: This show has now ended its run