Wild Worlds Is A Cabaret Of Animal Instincts

Sophia Shluger
By Sophia Shluger Last edited 42 months ago
Wild Worlds Is A Cabaret Of Animal Instincts ★★★☆☆ 3

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Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Artful Badger’s Wild Worlds show at the Vault Festival is a smorgasbord of interactive entertainment exploring our animal instincts. Labelled as “a curated collection of breathtaking breakages, emotional explosives, anti-gravity time travellers, baffooning birds, bad habits and allegorical aerial”, this show is, like the festival that hosts it, both experimental, fun and wildly random.

Things start with a troupe of disturbing female dancers dressed in red who shake, itch and chant statements such as: ‘you will not succeed’ and ‘go on and shit on me, I don’t care’. The choreography, coupled with the cacophony of their creepy voices can at best be described as a homage to mental anguish; at worst, what one might expect visiting a well-rehearsed dance troupe at a maximum security psychiatric hospital.

A disembodied voice then follows this opener, breaking the tension and calming the audience as laughter leads them into the next act performed by a trio of dancers dressed as birds.

We also get an aerial artist caught in a spider’s web (a metaphor for the entanglement inherent in modern existence?), which leaves the room smelling of mashed cucumbers. Though she grimaces and stares off fearfully as she contorts, you can’t help but see the beauty in the fluid, swinging motions as she drapes her body repeatedly over a box-shaped net.

While the choreography and creative originality of the pieces are among the show’s strongest points, the excitement comes from not knowing what’s coming next, coupled with a rare opportunity to see performance art in a dark, humid vault better suited for wine storage than cultural appreciation.

Dramatic lighting and rhythmic background music are further accentuated by the unscripted water dropping from the vault’s ceiling and the sound of Waterloo’s trains. It all adds to a show characterised by creepiness and delirium.

By Sophia Shluger

Wild Worlds runs in the Vault’s Cavern area until 14 February. Tickets are £16.50. Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 02 February 2015