I was hooked from the beginning. I mean with DangerSwitch!, their concept, the method, the kind of art they create, and the people. It might just be my tastes but their cacophony of movement, storytelling, and visceral interaction feels like a vibrant new generation in live performance. I’m on the clown train.
My first impression was that Lock, Shock and Barrel had rounded up their friends and started a theatre troupe. Writhing from all sides of the theatre, haunting and scratching, the ensemble slowly assembled into the center of the space. It’s dark. And creepy. But of course these friends aren’t here to terrify you – they break and speak to the audience. They circle the whole audience around for story time in their original history of Little Red Riding Hood. From there, we’re volleyed between hilarity, despair, and grim horror asking the questions “what makes a woman?”, and “what makes a beast?”
Big Bad is an example of a really good idea executed brilliantly. With momentum off of the success of it’s first iteration at Ghost Light’s Battle of the Bards, this production has found a firm footing within the strange and eerie DangerSwitch! universe. The onstage storytellers elaborate a tragic story of several generations of women trying to survive through mixed media, performance art, dance segments, and shadow projection woven all together with keen poetic verse. I can say a lot of things I like about this show, but I really believe that it’s the people who you need to go and see. I heard their director Eddie DeHais one time talking about the basis of clowning, and let me tell you — these clowns run DEEP. With a dedication to their personal story, these artists are performing challenging and provoking material in a way that makes any audience curious for more. In my opinion, I think they’ve invented a perfect set of characters within a wonderfully nightmarish world. I would listen to these guys tell me just about any story. I know they’d do it justice.
By Tony Gavilanes