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Review: SLiDE / Meridian High School & The Pappy Show

Meridian High School and The Pappy Show 'Show of Hope'

The pupils from Meridian High School performed creative versions of playground games to soulful pop music, interspersed with readings of their poetry.

The piece culminated in a dance off where individuals showed their moves to a circle of their contemporaries, and by extension the audience, to riotous applause.

SLIDE 'Unexpected Item'

I expected reflections on supermarket shopping, consumerism, the impact of waste on the planet and a celebration of the poetry of the everyday. It was all of this, and more. The long, black vinyl runway flanked by rows of chairs on either side, resembled a conveyor belt. Instead of groceries though, what followed was a series of delicious dance sketches. Some involved the whole company, some in pairs or triads. The flow of ideas was relentless, matched only by the enthusiasm and skill of the company.

A row of dancers, some in black, others in white, scan the audience to barcode noises. Various magazines are dispensed from a shopping trolley, turning those reading them to stone, until another dancer snatches them away and released, they dance. In another, the stage is covered in a sheer blue cloth, billowing like the sea with debris from the previous sketch hinting at the state of our oceans.

The music ranged from sonorous, choral music to ‘She’s a supermarket woman’ by Lemonade Market, in a delightful piece where two women pull sparkly boleros from their carrier bags and give new meaning to getting trolleyed.

Towards the end of the performance, the whole company balloon empty carrier bags aloft, putting me in mind of the paper lanterns often released at funerals.

It was moving, like the dancers, in unexpected ways and if you like the fine line between pathos and bathos, they navigated it like tightrope walkers.

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