Ever wondered what really happens behind the sequins and smiles on TV dance spectaculars? Strictly Sickly, which comes to Liverpool’s Capstone Theatre this week, brings to life the rumbas and the rivalries of a TV dance contest – and, just like in real life, the audience has the power to decide.
It’s the final of Britain’s Got Ballroom, and there is a dance-off between the two finalists, Adrianna and Bettina. They both have secrets and they both tell lies. Who will win and who will be punished? The piece is described as “an interactive, interdisciplinary performance that takes a critical and fun approach to exposing the ways we gaze, frame and consume the arts, and asks: Where does the real power lie?”
Strictly Sickly is written and directed by Declan Patrick, Lecturer in Dance at Liverpool Hope University. It features contemporary performer Bettina Carpi and two Hope uni graduates, Cerian Young and Adrianna Czachorowska. Declan trained as a professional actor and dancer in New Zealand and London, and has worked extensively in both fields. He has a PhD in Contemporary Arts (Dance) and runs Fighting Fit Productions who are producing Strictly Sickly.
“I’m really interested in performance and cultural identity, and shows such as Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor are a massive part of our culture now. They always remind their audience that the fate of the performers is in their hands. Strictly Sickly plays with that idea, by having a live audience who make decisions about the performance and by doing this they also become a key part of the performance. The words ‘interactive’ may seem a little frightening to some, but in Strictly Sickly, the emphasis is on fun for the audience and the chance to enjoy being part of it.”