With many theatres now reopening again, it is surely a good moment to celebrate all those venues which managed to stage live shows in the past few months — often in very stressful circumstances. A big shout out to you all! Brilliant! The sheer variety of shows has been inspiring. For example, yesterday I went to see the final day of Outside In, the Coronet Theatre’s diverse and site specific program of free live events staged in several shop windows along the Portobello Road in Notting Hill, West London. In particular, I really enjoyed body-artist Yong Min Cho’s installation and movement piece, which he performed every day for a week in the Corner Shop at number 230. With the audience outside in the street, braving a sudden rain shower, he delivered a wonderfully quirky, occasionally humorously surreal dance piece, using a hatstand and phone as props and making onstage costume changes, turning the vivid colors of material into balletic shapes, defining and impassioning the space with textiles, then bursting into Korean song. This example of porto teatro included a love poem: lovely. It was fun not only to watch the short performance, but also to experience the street scene: 40 people, many with a sense of curiosity, some with a sense of adventure, plus passersby attracted to the event and even a random drunk, all part of an exciting impromptu occasion which took place while all around the Portobello market was in full swing. With all our high-streets suffering, especially during the pandemic, it’s great that Anda Winters, Artistic Director of the Coronet, is using theatre and dance to help regenerate the local shops and to celebrate the arts in their multitudinous forms, including theatre, dance, music, puppetry, art and video installations. A really memorable occasion.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.