Dadderrs: Frauke Requardt and Daniel Oliver
- Lorna Irvine
- 23 October 2019
Inspired lunacy ruminating on marriage, kids and performance
Clad in white and orange and leading the audience in chants, Frauke Requardt and her husband and partner in performance art, Daniel Oliver introduce the 'Meadowdrome', their bizarre world away from domestic life. It's somewhat akin to a harmless Utopian cult – at first, at least.
Weaving text which interrogates philosophy, nudity, paint, a llama-like costume which they both wear like a pantomime horse, Lego and several massive white balloons, the effect is like a psychedelic romp into kids' TV, albeit through the prism of adults who just happen to make dance- based work. Hannah Clark's design reinforces the trippy atmosphere.
The pair bicker, flirt with people and attempt to settle scores, consistently undermining the prescribed roles of performers and spectators. Everyone is invited to join in with their questionable dance moves, songs and roleplay. Some people are even selected to re-enact an early encounter in their relationship, with one person playing 'Frauke' and another 'Daniel'. But the rules shift from moment to moment.
The dancing itself is rooted in pagan ritual, with Requardt frenetically swaying naked like a white witch during Samhain festival; Oliver is more measured and slow in his movements. They chastise each other as only couples can, and the narrative becomes like an overshare on social media, turning acerbic at times. It's the awkward situations which test the mettle of the crowd – how they react will determine the show's outcome.
Underneath the chaotic lunacy though, is a rather sweet, poignant look at what binds and bonds partners together in real life. Their own young children are represented by Lego bricks, a constant presence to the side of the room.
There are bigger observations here about art and creativity, all blurring boundaries of social etiquette and adult expectations. Their mess, spilled from kitchen table to stage, is the mess of being human and fallible, and it's surreal, witty and strangely beautiful.
Reviewed at Tramway, Glasgow.