Multi-disciplinary Ménage À Trois comes to Glasgow end of August 2012

Ménage À Trois

Claire Cunningham's soul-searching production will incorporate dance, animation and puppetry

‘Someone hung a jacket on a pair of crutches, like a scarecrow. There was something in it that really fascinated me and I wanted to come back to it.’

Unable to shake this innocuous image, multi-disciplinary performer Claire Cunningham, held onto the idea for a couple of years as it grew, taking on a cohesive shape that would become her newest piece of work, Ménage à Trois. The cutting-edge performance scrutinises society’s perceptions of the aesthetics of the onstage body by awarding Cunningham’s own crutches a starring role in the piece, as well as exploring the long-term relationship she has with them.

Cunningham admits that creating the production took a lot of soul searching.

‘It has been quite a difficult process – making the show meant I had to take myself apart and discover what were the issues I had, how I felt I was perceived by potential partners, how to physically represent the walls that you put up to protect yourself.’

Incorporating not only dance, but animation and puppetry, Cunningham depicts the often closed-off world in which she lives and juxtaposes this with a magical dream environment that occurs when her crutches come to life as her ideal man, further enhancing the personal vibe that suffuses the show.

Sentimentality is not indulged here, in fact it is often punctured. ‘Dance has a history of taking itself a little too seriously, so this show displays a very dark and twisted humour. We tried hard to make something that pulls the audience in to feel as though they’re in my imagined world.’

Tramway, Glasgow, Fri 24 & Sat 25 Aug; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 19 Sep.

Ménage à Trois

Award-winning performer Claire Cunningham performs a new piece commissioned for Unlimited, a project celebrating disability, arts, culture and sport as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Darkly humorous and deeply intimate, the piece explores Cunningham's relationship with her crutches and themes of love…

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