Cold Blood

Cold Blood is so imaginative that it defies classification. It’s a feature-length film made while the audience watches, a piece of deconstructed avant garde theatre in miniature, a dance show – though only for two fingers and several hands.

It’s a monologue on death and memory beautifully and mesmerisingly spoken by Toby Regbo, but above all it is poignant, witty, funny and absolutely absorbing.

I’ve seen a lot of theatre over the years so it’s unusual for me to see anything that doesn’t have roots in something else, but I can honestly say the Belgian collaboration of choreographer Michele Anne de Mey and film maker and playwright Jaco Van Dormael has produced a five star piece of startling originality.

It’s a piece about the last memories and death of  seven unrelated characters, shown through moving fingers. There are two little tap-dancing hands wearing thimbles. There are various little fingers strutting round a podium. There are pole-dancing fingers, and fingers in space wearing a plastic glove spacesuit.

All this and much more is filmed and projected onto a big screen where events unfold and various backdrops enhance the narrative. With accompanying music from Bolero to Bowie the effect is stunning.

The performers’ hands are the main characters, the hands of Gregory Grosjean, Gabriella Iacono, and Michelle Anne de Mey herself. The genius behind the camera is Tristan Garland.

See it if you can. You won’t be disappointed. Seldom has death been so lighthearted yet poignant. The audience – on the count of 3 – is literally mesmerised.

Kings Theatre until August 6th


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