Dirty Protest: Out With The Old
Cardiff Arts Institute, Cardiff.
Thurs 18 Feb
Although kept under wraps compared to CAI’s more recent high coverage events, Dirty Protest’s involvement in Cardiff since 2007 has gained the innovative Welsh company quite the following. This night in the Arts Institute certainly showed any new audience members why.
As the name of the event suggests, Out With the Old… deals with life’s transitionary moments. Completing the implied expression of the event’s name, the project also brought in contemporary concerns, most obvious in the final piece, Rats. This work, by Liverpudlian Colette Kane, discussed a number of modern moral issues. Yet rather than providing the ‘riot’ this company promised on their website, the company delicately balanced issues in a way that neatly negotiated the very respectable side of tasteless.
The clear highlight of the evening was You Big New Beautiful Thing written by Lucy Kirkwood. From a writer who gave us the episode of Skins where we first get properly introduced to that irritatingly captivating Effy, we couldn’t expect anything too conventional. Here, the very likeable Erin Richards plays the part of a woman initiating the termination of a relationship in favour of the phallic charms of London’s Gherkin building, perfectly reliable to the character in that ‘it will stand by me as long as I stand by it’.
With such engaging stories and diverse and energetic characters there is little negative to say about this event. However, like its title, this night seemed like only a teasing half what was expected; it would, perhaps, have benefited from an interval with more plays following to balance out the event. But maybe it’s just greed that is causing me to protest too much.