The Enormous Room
Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester PO19 6AP
Tel: 01243 781312
AN EPIC production which has thrilled audiences in London is making its way to Chichester.
The Enormous Room, from Stopgap Dance Company, returns to the stage at Chichester Festival Theatre from Thursday, December 13, to Saturday, December 15, following its London launch at the Sadler’s Wells.
Their latest epic production features the infamous and influential David Toole, a gripping disabled performer, who, alongside Stopgap’s rising star, Hannah Sampson, play a father and daughter living through their own, very different experiences of grief.
Combining exquisite detail in movement with evocative text, music and design, The Enormous Room takes the audience somewhere in between this world and the next. It contains some spectacular heartfelt dance from a diverse and talented cast of dancers.
Dave’s wife, Jackie, has died, but he still sees her everywhere.
David Toole performs the role of Dave, adding to a distinguished career that includes a prominent solo in the 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony and the landmark 2004 film from DV8, The Cost Of Living. Sam is played by Hannah Sampson, a young dancer with Down’s syndrome who has received over 10 years of professional training with Stopgap Dance Company.
The interactions between David Toole and Sampson demonstrate their onstage chemistry, which has been evident since initial rehearsals and workshops of this production.
David and Hannah are joined by non-disabled dancers Amy Butler (the rehearsal director of Chotto Desh by Akram Khan) and Hannah Rotchell or Elia Lopez (Hannah for Cambridge, Bristol and Chichester shows, and Elia for Chester and Leeds shows), who take the roles of Jackie as Sam’s mother and Dave’s wife respectively.
Lucy Bennett, Stopgap’s artistic director and choreographer for The Enormous Room, chose to have two performers play Jackie to illustrate the subjective nature of memory. The Cambodian wheelchair dancer Nadenh Poan plays Chock, a Puck-like presence who orchestrates the collision between this world and the next. Christian Brinklow from Great Yarmouth plays the role of
Tom, who offers his friend, Sam, a chance to escape sadness.
Thoughtful, moving and uplifting, The Enormous Room is a show about saying goodbye and moving on.