The audience walks in on a barren stage in a room filled with haze, one performer is writing the words ‘Don’t look at me’ on a blackboard. The other is suspended in the air almost naked. The two events happening contradict each other, which kickstarts the theme of ownership of female sexuality that is explored in Everything I See I Swallow.
The hour-long aerial-drama examines how feminism has evolved over the years, and how certain people’s ideas of feminism can cause others to feel oppressed. It’s a unique concept, and one that they’ve expressed in a very unique way, through the art of Shibari, a Japanese artform of bondage, translating to ‘to tie decoratively’, and aerial art.
Everything I See I Swallow is compelling. The performances from both Tamsin Sasha and Maisy Taylor keep the audience gripped throughout. There are times that the piece seems to derail slightly dramatically, as the scene transitions feel obvious and, at times, awkward, and the chemistry between the two performers is significantly less palpable when the two are acting together compared to when they are both in the air performing their aerial art.
The piece is still in its early stages, suggested by the fact that the audience are handed out feedback forms at the end to fill out and return. For a piece in its early stages, it shows great potential and with further exploration and fleshing out of the characters and plot, it could be a beautiful examination of gender, sexuality and self-love.
I was also told after I wrote this review that there was a large technical fault and a projector that they would use throughout the show didn’t work. However, the performers and the sharp but mesmerising atmosphere they create on stage kept me transfixed and I hadn’t thought there was anything missing technically.
Everything I See I Swallow is a piece that needs to grow and expand. However, the product they are showing is already showing great promise from it’s poetically urgent words, to beautiful and impressive aerial performance. So I suggest, if you’re interested in any of the themes, you watch it and help it grow.
Main Image: Sean Longmore