GECKO Institute Photo by Richard Haughton Two Award-Winning Companies, Gecko and Protein, present spectacularly inventive theatre at The Place, London.

Date Wed 9 December 2015

Gecko, Institute, 2 – 12 March
Protein, May Contain Food, 20 April – 7 May

Next spring, two companies known for pushing the boundaries of physical and dance theatre will bring their unique blends of style and energy to Dance UK member The Place. Firstly, Gecko will perform the critically acclaimed Institute in March followed by May Contain Food, the brand new, playful dance show by Dance UK member Protein, with music by Orlando Gough, in April. 

Gecko’s Institute was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe earlier this year and is an intimate, funny and moving exploration of what it means to care. It is set in a warped world of emotional compartmentalisation and treatment, where memories are filed and relationships scrutinised, patient becomes carer and vice versa. Four people undergo a series of extraordinary physical ‘treatments’ as they struggle to prepare themselves for the outside world. 

Founded in 2001, Gecko has a reputation for generating unique worlds, exquisite stage craft and breath-taking choreography, recently showcased in The Time of Your Life, a new show developed especially for BBC Four’s Live from Broadcast Centre. 

It is the first time the company has returned to The Place since performing Missing in 2012.
Amit Lahav, Artistic Director of Gecko says: ‘Institute is underlined by the notion of care – who will care for us when the time comes? We have found people respond and connect to Institute on many different personal, often very emotional levels. We’re looking forward to taking The Place’s audiences on this intimate and surprising journey and seeing where it might end.’ 

Work Place artist Luca Silvestrini’s company Protein returns to The Place with the brand new show May Contain Food. Four vocalists and four dancers all sing for their supper in a witty piece of dance and music theatre that provokes thinking on the sensory, cultural and social implications of food, from savouring the simplicity of a cherry tomato to touching on the moral dilemma of vegetarianism. With renowned composer Orlando Gough’s music sung live and a tempting waft of freshly-baked pudding, expect a performance sure to delight all the senses. 

Weaving through celebrated designer Yann Seabra’s interactive set, the performers invite the audience to sit at a table and then serve them up a show. Luca Silvestrini and Orlando Gough have collaborated closely so both music, performed a cappella, and movement are composed and choreographed, creating an immersive experience of indulgence, nostalgia and mischief. 

Speaking about the show Luca Silvestrini said; “My interest in working with Orlando and singers results from years of creating works that use text and the spoken word. In my recent pieces, such as LOL (lots of love) and Border Tales, movement and speech complemented one another at both a physical and emotional level. This collaboration with Orlando has been a wonderful opportunity to understand and further exploit the expressive power of voice and text. We talked for years about making a piece of dance theatre around social occasions, mealtimes and having a good time and May Contain Food brings all these elements together.”