If Only It Were Just About Bread: Dirty Crusty At The Yard Theatre

Dirty Crusty, The Yard Theatre ★★★☆☆

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If Only It Were Just About Bread: Dirty Crusty At The Yard Theatre Dirty Crusty, The Yard Theatre 3

Getting your pants in a bunch has a new, unhygienic meaning courtesy of Clare Barron, writer and Pulitzer Prize finalist, and her new show, Dirty Crusty. Directionless Jeanine (Akiya Henry) takes lessons from acerbic ballet dancer Synda (Abiona Omonua) to weave a brutal story of how bodies, sexuality and movement inform our deepest desires.

Barron manages to make the darker themes of violence extremely digestible. The story begins with the blossoming relationship between Jeanine and mask-maker Victor, before things ramp up with Jeanine and Synda. There’s a fluid rhythm to the scenes bringing emotional and physical tension to the characters and their sexual and social angst.

The strong and mesmerising trio persuades you to follow their deflated dreams and existential crises. There’s a lot of recounting of sexual exploration followed by guilty self-examination of who’s exploitative and who feels used. The unorthodox story is recounted through a cocktail of high quality narration, music, dance, dialogue and song.

The set is as abstract as the plot, but the synth music, visual projections and lighting changes to mark the passage of time, combine to create a Dali-esque three dimensional art effect.

The narrative evolves unexpectedly, going to dark places only to end eventually on a high note. But it may make you feel you’ve been on a tortured journey with the trio.

Dirty Crusty, The Yard Theatre, E9 5EN. Tickets £15-£17, until 30 November 2019.

Last Updated 07 November 2019