Tramway, Glasgow

Neil Cooper


SOMETHING is stirring in Dr Lazarus' lab in this hi-tech teenage love story for a digitally enhanced social media age that helps make Take Me Somewhere’s festival of live art and performance a family affair. The far from good doctor has learnt how to play god by extending life through means of a bionic heart transplanted into guinea-pigs like Kid_X, the body-popping, flex-tastic wonder-teen she controls with the over-bearing hand of a scientific genius who’s gone rogue.

Kid_X, however, has other plans, as he stumbles on the acrobat excursions of social media starlet and selfie queen Gabriella, whose dances across the rooftops captures Kid_X’s mechanical heart. What happens next is a purely physical affair in this pumping fusion of sound, vision and bodies in motion, all set to a dancehall dub reggae score created by Mungo’s HiFi sound system alongside rising soul diva Eva Lazarus.

At the flesh and blood centre of this multi-media collaboration between Bassline Circus, the MHz organisation and Feral are a quartet of dynamic performances, with Malick Bright hot-stepping it up as Kid_X and Amanda Attwood as a high-kicking Gabriella. Director Bex Anson has Lazarus herself play the Dr with a wicked-witch-like glee inbetween striking her own poses. Also present is British sign language interpreter Bea Webster, whose integration into the action becomes a little dance in itself.

All of this is played out against a whirlwind of animated graphics, created by a three-way consortium of Once Were Farmers, Beeple and Manifold Garden, and beamed out on designer Dav Bernard’s set of screens in a sense-beguiling panoramic fashion.

Combined, this makes for a high-energy meditation on how technology can harden emotions if not tempered by real live human interaction. This is shown best at the end, when the young audience are invited onstage for a mass dance-off that displays with joyful abandon how collective action can bring people together.