Man-made: 1,2,3 (4 stars)

Masculinity in the spotlight

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Man-made: 1,2,3

On The Verge, a Midlands-based theatre co-operative, are performing three shows over three weeks, all sharing the title Man-made, and looking at purpose and values in the modern world. Man-made: 2 stars dance company, fromthegreyhouse and takes on the way that boys are created by society.

It’s spectacular physical theatre, featuring forty minutes of rough-housing and macho display. All of the dancers are powerful, tough and the series of play-ground games and all-out punch-ups are executed with force and energy. The message, that men are defined by violence and peer pressure, is hammered home. Despite the lack of individuality between the characters, the argument that men are conformist and savage is made clearly and the message never distracts from the exciting leaps and tussles.

The action is kept up for the whole production, with duets giving way to group tumbling. Impressive physical feats, loud, pounding music and aggressive posturing lends the show a brutal, provocative edge. While there is space for a more measured considered of how men are, Man-made: 2 is exhilarating and relentless, with a clear narrative and plenty of high-octane thrills.

C, 0845 260 1234, until 30 Aug, 12.30pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£4.50–£8.50).

Man-made: 1,2,3

  • 4 stars

Take nineteen performers from three generations and spice with a mixture of dance, music and physical theatre. Allow for three alternative explorations of that which is 'Man-made'. The result: a unique assemblage of ideas.

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