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Joy, The Vaults – Review

Pros: Powerful and surreal

Cons: Lacked a bit of polish and the DJ´s role could have been clearer

Pros: Powerful and surreal Cons: Lacked a bit of polish and the DJ´s role could have been clearer It is 5 am, and the morning after an S & M party. Joy's lover has disappeared, so she returns to the scene of the crime to piece together her feelings. In this one woman play, each moment of dialogue is filled with such a level of drama its surreality is enormous. From talking, throughout, to a bright, white, male blow up doll, to singing Say a Little Prayer dripping in seduction, Dina Gordon gives a portrayal so vivaciously strong, it almost makes…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

A powerful female lead gives a surreal performance.

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It is 5 am, and the morning after an S & M party. Joy’s lover has disappeared, so she returns to the scene of the crime to piece together her feelings. In this one woman play, each moment of dialogue is filled with such a level of drama its surreality is enormous. From talking, throughout, to a bright, white, male blow up doll, to singing Say a Little Prayer dripping in seduction, Dina Gordon gives a portrayal so vivaciously strong, it almost makes us wonder if the evening really happened, or if her mind is simply playing tricks on her? The strong dialogue is matched by strong physical movement. Joy sings opera while applying her make-up, suggesting the desperate need to appear a certain way, and the way she dances helps to describe her character at an accelerated rate.

When we first meet her, Joy is smoking and drinking a can of beer, dressed in a micro mini leather dress and with a large, vibrant afro. She is undoubtedly a powerful woman who is completely at ease with her sexuality, but over the course of the play we see that she is really a lost woman, dealing with heartbreak and not, perhaps, entirely stable. ‘Do you love me?’, she repeatedly asks her make-shift lover. ‘What do you want me to do?’. This makes for an interesting representation of  the version of ourselves we let people see, versus the person we are when we have nothing to hide behind.

Joy tells powerfully of  the psychological journey that comes after a one night stand, and runs the gamut of emotions, from anger at her lover’s lack of culture, to the desperation for him to connect with her. But when Joy finds  a huge pile of bananas under the bed, then puts on a banana skirt and dances, the subtext is a howl of rage and protest at the legacy of colonialism, and the representation of women of colour as exotic and hyper-sexual.  In such a small space, the vibration of the music is loud and the emotions on stage strong. Dina Gordon creates an interactive experience, as if Gordon is telling our own stories in this post S & M, post-colonialism, party scenario.  

Author: Dina Gordon
Music Composer: Andrea Giordani
Producer: All Good Artists Are Dead
Booking Until: This show has now ended its run at The Vaults

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