Tuesday, 29 March 2016

THREE star review for If You Kiss Me Kiss Me at the Young Vic

photo credit Johan Persson

IF You Kiss Me, Kiss Me is not something that you can easily define. Part theatre, part gig, part dance, it's an hour long show now on at the Young Vic.
Choreographed by Aletta Collins, and featuring a company of dancers and a live band, it stars Jane Horrocks who looks rather like a young Debbie Harry with her peroxide blonde hair and commanding presence on stage.
The piece was conceived by Horrocks who grew up in Lancashire and essentially it's a homage to the new wave music of the 1970s which she grew up with - that of Joy Division, Buzzcocks and The Smiths among just a few.
There isn't much narrative. In fact the vast majority of the hour long piece is just music and dancing with Horrocks belting out her own gritty and soulful versions of the songs that inspired her and that she clearly has a connection with.
She has a lovely voice but at times it gets lost with the dancers who are at times a bit distracting as they cavort around the stage. Sometimes they interact with her but a lot of the time they don't and instead interact with each other. Then there a fridge which is pushed on and off the set a few times though I'm not sure quite what it was meant to signify.
The set itself is bare save for a huge plug at the back on which Horrocks sometimes sits and the band who are mostly kept at the back.
Sometimes this is a show that is successful and if you like these songs then chances are you will like Horrocks' interpretation of them. It's clear these are songs which mean a lot to her but she doesn't get a chance to explain to the audience what they mean to her.
It also feels as though it's being staged in the wrong place with all the audience sitting down rather than on their feet and dancing.
However, despite the loose ends, it is an interesting idea for a show and a treat to see Horrocks back on stage.

If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me is on at the Young Vic, The Cut, Waterloo, until April 16. Visit www.youngvic.org or call the box office on 020 7922 2922.

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