02 What's On Stage - 9Feb11

The Storeroom (Carriageworks Leeds)
Date Reviewed: 9 February 2011
WOS Rating: ****


Co-director, writer, choreographer and performer [Siân Williams] of The Kosh set herself a demanding task with The Storeroom.

An intriguing mix of physical theatre and drama, the audience is taken on a journey of murder, love, frame and imprisonment through the memories of schoolgirl come showgirl, Zoe.

The Storeroom is, visually and conceptually, an incredibly shrewd play which is brilliantly executed. The staging is an accomplished piece of well oiled artistic engineering and the inventive use of props and costumes is positively dazzling. The Storeroom is a one woman show, and Williams treats the audience with hypnotising dance sequences throughout; at one point using the ladders of the old storeroom to create a mesmerising acrobatic ballet performance, with dexterity and grace to make Cirque Du Soleil envious. Williams relies heavily on lighting, costumes and props to give the play depth and add distinct elements within the story (there is even ventriloquism!). Rather than leaning dependently on these to give her performance buoyancy; Williams is calculated and often incredibly witty in her choices and use of them is in itself what gives this play its character.

The Storeroom drives home the power of performance and theatre.

Alastair Gavin’s compositions are jazzy and sinister and Williams’ immaculate performance makes The Storeroom a dangerous and dazzling seventy minutes of artistic revelry.

Kirsty Hulse