Contact Young Company and Young Identity joined forces with Manchester Art Gallery in an exciting new collaboration offering a modern and unique perspective on what public culture means. Over four nights, young people from Contact Young Company and acclaimed spoken word collective, Young Identity shared ideas and their voices on what a post colonial future looks like through their promenade performance and alternative gallery tour. If I was asked to review this remarkable piece in only one word, I would have to say that it was mesmerising. However, I do not have to use only one word and I can also tell you that it was innovative, stimulating, inspiring, and truly unlike anything I have ever seen before.
The performance is a manipulation of the senses created a strange atmosphere of chaos and unease perfect to display and denounce our society’s unusual compliance of discrimination and segregation. The utilisation of strong echoes in the ‘abandoned’ museum made it impossible to miss the meaningful words of the performers; and the contrasts between the silence of the perplexed audience and the powerful voices of young people shouting to be heard in the vast rooms helped to build tension that remained for the rest of the performance.
Our ‘leaders’ showed remarkable wit and talent; their use of original poetry, direction, and monologues created a unique personality for each of their ‘characters’ and by including their own stories, they furthered the understanding of how real the problems of our society are.
However, whilst each piece was beautifully unique, this left the production with a lack of flow; the scenes felt like short pieces forced together rather than made to be one and I fail to understand the complete narrative of the performance. Additionally, the performance was split into three viewings and we were only shown one; I, personally, would love to see the work of the other performers but perhaps this shows how successful this piece truly was. It left me amazed and desperate for more and I do think it could have afforded to last longer.
This Show Gets:
Overall, the Contact Young Company are doing incredible work and are helping to shape the minds of the future, their work is motivating and meaningful and I would highly recommend their performances.