Review: And the Rest of Me Floats, The Rose Lipman Building

Devised by its cast, And The Rest Of Me Floats brings us into the very personal worlds of the actors and their individual, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, journeys of becoming who they are today. With invasive questions posed to them during their lives used as a motif throughout, this piece opens your eyes as to how far we still have to go when it comes to regarding gender and sexuality in society. They tell us each of their stories, boldly baring all, explaining why they chatted online when they were younger; as it allowed them to be who they couldn’t yet be in reality, the way in which they came out to their parents or new partners, and how religion made them question their existence and what is the “right” way to be.

Directed by Ben Buratta, the ensemble- consisting of Josh Enright, Barry Fitzgerald, Elijah W Harris, Emily Joh Miller, Tamir Amar Pettet, Miiko Toiviainen and Yasmin Zadeh – move to electronic music in well- timed groups, some pacing back and forth across the stage, some crossing them whilst sashaying past, all seamlessly weaving between one another. This choreographed movement (Coral Messam) begins with a feeling of inner turmoil, as the characters wring their hands when turning their back on the audience, whilst the confidence of others shines through in the way they hold themselves and regard the audience. Despite the fact that these considered sequences work well, they tend to continue for a fraction too long, losing their tenacity and becoming repetitive. During transitions, the actors call out seemingly random numbers, which slowly are revealed to be significant ages for them in the realisation of their sexuality and/or gender.

Matching the intimacy of the production, the performance space, designed by Rūta Irbīte, is stripped back with no scenery, the sound and lighting equipment unapologetically visible, just like the actors themselves. It appears as if they each wear what they are comfortable in, resulting in a confidence which penetrates the room, and as a member of the audience I am proud to be a part of this space in which they feel comfortable expressing their true identities.

With the running theme of wanting to be seen and not just looked at, Outbox theatre’s And The Rest Of Me Floats is a well devised show, inspiring and encouraging us all to put the importance of our happiness in ourselves over everything, especially the expectations of society.

And The Rest Of Me Floats played the Rose Lipman Building until September 23. For more information and tickets, click here.

Photo: FG Studios