Derriere on a G string ☆☆☆☆☆
Lillian Baylis Studio, London
There are over twenty separate scenes in Derriere on a G String, packed into just one hour fifteen minutes running time. Its intense, its scatological, its childish, and it’s absolutely bloody brilliant.
The show takes some of the most popular classical music passages and sets a comic scene to them. Each scene makes a connection to the music that can only be the product of choreographer Alfred Taylor-Gaunt’s fevered imagination – they are really bizarre but always funny.
Highlights include tender moments such as the Pas de Deux Buttcracker (set to The Nutcracker) when two hairy-arsed builders fall in love over a mug of tea and a very long spirit level, or Duck Pond (set to Swan Lake of course) where an hilariously overstuffed swan gets amorous with an innocent passer-by there to feed the ducks.
For those uninitiated in the mysteries of contemporary ballet, a crucial accessory for the professional dancer is the thong back dance belt (not to be mistaken for your common or garden disco bunny jockstrap). They can be padded at the front to give a generous but completely smooth profile. Minimal architecture at the back ensure no tell-tale panty line in those revealing white tights.
Derriere on a G Sting has the whole cast repeatedly stripping down to this dance underwear starting with the opening number The Great Exhibition (Strauss’s Radetzky March) where the cast all go swimming, sometimes with or without the aid of a bucket of water.
There are other moments which hit the stratospheric heights of nuttydom with the cast at full tilt. For example, Morning Wood is a dream sequence of a young man who wakes up with a pesky hard-on. (All set to – yes you’ve guessed it ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt). It quickly descends to a whirling orgy where couples and threesomes all interchange in with thrusting abandon.
I’ll come for one (In the Hall of the Mountain King) is another ensemble piece which starts lampooning the niceties of polite dinner party circuit and ends in a bacchanalian fuckfest of epic proportions leaving you agog and thinking “That escalated quickly…!” As always it’s the details that stay with you – the truly hilarious knowing devilish look on comic superstar Sammy Moore’s hyper expressive face when he clinches it with a girl and then a boy then both; or the bit of toilet roll stubbornly stuck to the shoe of dance heavyweight Jonathan Mewett during Flight of the Boarding Pass (Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov)
The everyday observational humour in these scenarios is underpinned by a strong technical ability in ballet and contemporary dance. It also includes clowning, mime and there are strong elements of the sketch shows of Morecambe and Wise, Victoria Wood and Monty Python (and even Dick and Dom in da Bungalow!). It also has some of the depth of meaning and social commentary achieved through the narrative that dance theatre brings, seen previously in work by practitioners such as DV8 or the Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs.
The piece worked best when the dance was seamlessly integrated into the sketch and really took off when the whole ensemble pirouetted, pliėd and generally swished in unison around the stage. Eye popping talent matched with eye popping eye candy – this show was VERY Queerguru….