Groove at Contact Theatre, Manchester

Wednesday night I entered a veritable dreamscape, just off Oxford Road. No, silly, not Kro.

Immersive can mean different things when it comes to art and theatre. It was Wednesday night, raining hard, I had a sore throat and I had 11 work hours under my belt. I was simply a joy.

I was too tired to dance.

I was worried I might have to dance.

I love to dance but the conditions were challenging and I was firmly wearing my coat and scarf indoors, and looking very preppy partly due to a penchant for an autumnal preppy aesthetic and partly due to the ‘pity me’ cold, enveloping my very being. The big scarf was staying.

But reader, I was immersed! And I didn’t even need to leave my theatre seat.

Based on the real stories and testimonies of LGBTQIA+ people across generations, GROOVE is a brand new performance exploring the dance floor as a place of protest, identity, belonging and desire, embracing what it means to be queer, then, now, and in the future.

The concept was understood and appreciated by me. The execution by OUTBOX was simply sublime.

I was immersed in the music and the strobes, never imposing, only ever energising and enhancing to the message. Levels rising, ebbing and flowing, as the cast took to their individual spotlights to dance, sing, skate, speak, share, strip and shed…

It wasn’t an assault on the senses but a stimulation of.

I felt like I’d stepped out of my Wednesday woe and into a world where people were the living embodiment of what it is to be free, Free, fierce and fabulous. On the dance floor, if sadly not everywhere else.

The piece says,

The dance floor is a place that queer people can feel liberatory potential. For us, it can be our community centre, our church, our school and our family…

and I feel, however we identify as people, we can all relate .

I’m not going to break the show down into an essay – as I always say, for me art is something that should make you feel. Educate, sometimes, but most definitely make you feel and the way to do that is to experience it.

Groove is on tonight for one last showing. Go immediately to Contact Theatre, Manchester for more info and to snap up your tickets.

Go, immerse and embrace.

Also cracking soundtrack…

Read more about these fabulous creatives at https://outboxtheatre.com/Work

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