Ockham’s Razor presents their new show Tipping Point produced by Turtle Key Arts, as part of London’s International Mime Festival. A year in development, the sheer physical technique represented by the company of Ockham’s Razor has slowly honed itself into a mesmerizing production. As you enter The Platform a bare space greets you, while a thin layer of smoke settles as you gawk at the scaffold high in the ceiling. The subtle yearning of string music plays and the performers enter.
Straight away, the strength of these performers is apparent. Not muscled mutants, still their striking core strength informs even the way they walk. This strength is displayed almost immediately as we witness the feats of physical prowess these 5 performers achieve with no more than a couple of metal poles and their own limbs. Their ability to balance, climb and manoeuvre around these poles with such extraordinary ease is mind-boggling. However, the opening also focuses on another major aspect of work of this kind – trust. These performers obviously trust each other fully and even though they create tension within the audience through the possibility of peril, you never once believe that anyone will get hurt as they constantly check on each other and ensure each other’s safety, which is comforting.
The power of the circle is the theme of this show and circles come into play throughout. A circle is created with sand at the opening and this dictates the stage space, one that the performers both abide by but also break at moments to startle the front row. Even though a lot of thought has obviously gone into the theme of this piece, there seem to be attempts at small narratives throughout. Yet nothing is ever solid enough for an audience member to understand fully what is being represented.
Each performer has a chance to shine in their own solo piece, whilst the ensemble compliment and emphasis their collaborative talents. Our favorite performer was Scottish-based Emily Nicholl who, as the smallest of the bunch, had the wide-eyed presence of a child whilst creating some of the most memorable moments, notably seeming to run whilst standing on two poles (you need to see it to understand fully) and her beautifully tender ‘duet’ with company Artistic Director, Alex Harvey; something to be seen rather than described. But at the heart of this show is the ensemble without which the show would miss its essence.
The physical performances are sensitively scored by some tremendous music composed by Adem Ilham and Quinta while some aspects are performed live by Hazel Mills, adding an organic feel to the show.
One issue to be raised and the reason that this isn’t a perfectly rounded show, is the length. Even though you never feel bored, there are definitely moments that could be tightened or edited to flow more smoothly into each other. It feels episodic, but with some careful decision making they could cut certain parts and have this piece at a really great, 45 minute – one hour show.
There is definitely a sense of play here, and this is another example of the boundaries of the human body being pushed to beautiful effect. Tipping Point captures a central tenet of mime with exhilarating ease – expression as physicality. This show is still in development, and we have no doubt that when it reaches it pinnacle, it is going to exceed all expectations.
Until Saturday 23rd January
Platform Theatre, N1C 4AA
Tickets from £11