Home » London Theatre Reviews » Dagny Wants to Dance at Bureau of Silly Ideas, Brixton | Review

Dagny Wants to Dance at Bureau of Silly Ideas, Brixton | Review

I had no idea what to expect from Dagny Wants to Dance by MAGNA before I went. And having been, I still struggle to explain what I experienced. It was a party, a chance to meet strangers in an oddly intimate way, and to dance with other people for the first time since lockdown.

MAGNA Dagny- Ali Wright
MAGNA Dagny – Photo credit Ali Wright

There are two things I can tell you about Dagny: he’s a bird, and he likes to dance. Then there’s Grey: she’s a human, and she speaks English and British Sign Language. They’re the only characters in the show except for us, the audience, up to six people at a time. Dagny and Grey have heard that there’s a party to be had, but to get there we’re going to have to work together. We are challenged to imagine our perfect party, and improvise a friendship dance to welcome the spirit of it in.

If that sounds vague, it is. This performance is part acting, part improv, and very much part movement – the BSL is brilliantly integrated into the piece, in a way that felt essential by the end. This is a show about coming back together after a long time alone, and celebrates the joy of meeting strangers and being vulnerable around them. There is jeopardy in asking an audience to co-create a performance, but it’s a testament to the performers that even a ‘don’t know’ and shrug from an admittedly younger audience member was enthusiastically embraced, and incorporated as if it were the perfect addition to our routine. Which by the end I’m convinced it was.

And in a snappy, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it half hour, we’re dancing back out onto the street and it’s all over.

MAGNA hopes to be able to tour this production, spreading the love and reintroducing people to the joys of getting out and dancing. One idea is to take it to festivals, where it could offer a positive, joyful break from the fray. That seems like a brilliant idea to me: this isn’t a life-changing or deep-narrative play, but more like a knocked-back ginger shot – a quick injection of fizz that fills my heart with joy and sets me up for the day.

3 Star Review

Review by Ben Ross

From MAGNA, the team behind Beige and Beige Online, comes Dagny Wants to Dance, an interactive show that combines the silliness that we all miss with the togetherness that we all crave and a gentle reconnection with the humans around us.

Join Dagny – the giant bird – as you’re guided through the world of vibes, moves and joy to get you ready for the party of your dreams!

Bureau Of Silly Ideas Ltd
18 Valentia Pl, London SW9 8PG


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