Review: ★★★★★ Kissing Rebellion, Ovalhouse

The cold, desolate staging of the Ovalhouse appears an unlikely place for a performance with such heart as Kissing Rebellion. An opening monologue that speaks of a recent tragedy only adds to the bleak feeling provided by a stage covered in dust surrounded by crumbling bricks and splattered paint, but as soon as lights dawn on a crowded dinner table there is only warmth and smiles. It is the perfect set-up for this show that brings such meaning to its title; when tragedy strikes, intimacy with those you love is truly a radical act of rebellion.

This collection of intimate stories is portrayed beautifully through dance, the eight cast members all moving with dynamic beauty to physically illustrate the words behind their performances. Each performer has their own story that they tell to the audience, and while it isn’t made quite clear if the stories are the dancers’ own or if they were pre-scripted the conviction with which every tale is told makes it unimportant either way. The stunning choreography differs greatly throughout the performance as a whole, lending itself perfectly to the varying moods and experiences that this performance takes the audience through.

A standout point in this performance is the diversity in both its’ performers and the stories that they tell. Every story comes from a unique perspective, the variety meaning that every audience member will be able to find something to relate to within one person’s voice at the very least, talking about the vastly different intimate lives of people of different ages, races, genders, and sexualities. And told by eight very different dancers, this is a show that not only represents humanity’s diversity but also showcases the beauty of our differences.

Defrin and Boucher have created a truly beautiful performance, full of joy and passion that serve as a well needed reminder that not even tragedy can override the healing power of human intimacy.


Helaina Cressy

Helaina Cressy
Helaina Cressy

Helaina Cressy is 20 years old and in her second year studying Bioveterinary Sciences at the Royal Veterinary College. Despite this she probably spends more time in the dance studio than the science lab, since she is Dance Captain for the university’s Performing Arts Society and both assistant choreographer and a performer in their annual musical. Her greatest love is musical theatre and she loves nothing more than singing showtunes at the top of her voice, and as well as writing reviews she also writes a blog about navigating life as a London student with a physical disability.


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