- David Pollock
- 5 June 2019
Slick and contemporary blend of music, circus and physical theatre
In the future it isn't so easy to fall in love – not when you were born in a lab and your heart is the property of genius corporate overseer Dr Lazarus. Yet that's the fate of Kid_X, bionic superhuman and the next stage of human evolution, when he meets the acrobat Gabriella.
But Lazarus, with a fearsome mix of mothering possessiveness and jealous guarding of her own intellectual property, is determined to have her own veto on this young relationship.
The show feels like the future itself has landed before us, through both the set, costume and video design palette which is heavy on Blade Runner-esque neon and moody darkness, and in the slick and contemporary blend of music, circus and physical theatre employed.
At heart, KID_X is essentially a musical, with singer Eva Lazarus – who plays the doctor of the same name – and Glasgow bass music sound system Mungo's Hi Fi creating a live score which rests on the smooth lyrical quality of Lazarus' songwriting and on the contemporary style of Mungo's compositions, invoking grime and dubstep to air-shaking effect.
Yet the trio of leads each bring something special to the piece. Alongside Lazarus, Malick Bright, a flex and krump dancer under the alias AndroidX – think doing 'the robot', but with a more exciting, street dance quality – is endlessly watchable, while the impossibly flexible Amanda Attwood's Gabriella turns circus gymnastics into a form of dance. This is a show about technology altering humans, but what young audiences will surely take away is an appreciation of just how far the human body, voice and imagination can be pushed.
As the piece progresses, it becomes clear that the storyline is only a hook to hang the more wide-ranging action on, and the implications of the themes presented – interactions which future generations may have with technology, global commerce, any sense of physical connection or intimacy – isn't going to be explored in-depth.
A lot of people were involved in the creation of KID_X (alongside major creators Bassline Circus, MHz and Feral, the programme lists two major funders and twenty-two supporter organisations), so perhaps the lack of narrative clarity is understandable. Yet with sonic and visual elements which are so perfectly executed and on the right level for the intended audience, the show still hits its mark.
Reviewed at Tramway, Glasgow, run ended. At Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh, Tue 20–Sat 25 Aug.