Review Smash It Up, Mr and Mrs Clark, Battersea Arts Centre by Hannah Goslin

Smash It Up!

Mr and Mrs Clark

Battersea Arts Centre

(5 / 5)

Two years ago I was lucky enough to be part of the Wales Dance Platform. It was an amazing weekend of performance, film and photography from a range of Welsh professionals.

In Chapter Arts Centre, I witnessed Mr and Mrs Clark and their new performance – ‘Smash It Up.’ I came away mesmerised, proud and inspired. A piece that, as always, seemed polished, well-constructed and well created, was only a work in  progress to my surprise.

If you haven’t heard of the Clarks, then where have you been? To come from a working process to where this performance is two years later, seems almost impossible in how much more amazing it can be, when you already think this it’s pretty incredible to begin with. The company embark on a look into the destruction of art in our World and the substandard it is made out to be in relation to more ‘serious’ businesses and topics.

A low hum, we are introduced to a room of tables with destroyed items and highlights of art from music to images to paintings. Noticing under this hum is the sound of sheep – a link to the Welsh nationality being brought into the hub of London? It seems not – the gentle and patient movement of the tables and other furniture soon moves the audience members – purposeful, we are sheep being herded without argument.

The development proceeds from a sense of calm to gradual anger and destruction of not only art but of our freedom as creatives. The performers subject themselves to potential harm and injuries for their cause – a protest on stage.

Mr and Mrs Clark are known for their use of technology, their physicality and their in depth messages. All of this is in abundance and it is put together so amazingly well that the pieces of the puzzle slot together in such a concise but destructive way. Their energy is consistent and impressive, making you feel envious of how they are able to keep physical for so long – true professional and skilled performers.

If there is only one thing you do this year, it should be to see any show by this formidable company. Their open and in your face opinion and protest to the state of art leaves you not only thinking but also rooting for them if you weren’t already involved In the conversation. Flying the flag for Wales – The Clarks have easily conquered London.

Mr and Mrs Clark

Battersea Arts Centre

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