Tucked away in the heart of Piccadilly is the intimate space of the Jermyn Street Theatre. With a stage space no bigger than my kitchen, my initial thoughts were – how could any piece of theatre, dance or otherwise, really work with such limitations. How wrong I was.
Good Morning Midnight created by Drew McOnie and TTJ, cleverly explores the realm of time in the middle of the night after the late sleepers have turned in and before the early risers awake. It is the time of night that belongs to the night owls, the few lonely souls who come alive in the dead of night… but what do they get up to? Set under the premise of a midnight radio show with music created by young jazz songwriter TTJ (Tasha Taylor Johnson), Good Morning Midnight delves into the unknown world of the night owl.
Director and choreographer Drew McOnie takes the helm of Good Morning Midnight with innovative choreography and plenty of artistic flair. His creations give the audience a sense of what might be happening without dictating their thoughts and feelings. This makes the piece unique in the way that each audience member forms their own interpretation of each dancer’s story, something that is delightfully refreshing today when, more often than not, a plot is directed specifically to place sympathy or empathy on certain characters.
The beauty of Good Morning Midnight undoubtedly lies in the abilities of the 6 dancers. Each with their own style and interpretation of the choreography, they work both individually and as a company to create the world of the night owl. With comedy, drama, sexuality and emotion, each dancer performs their night-time routine with their entire heart and soul. It helps that McOnie’s choreography is stunning. Using the space as though it were the size of the Royal Opera House, McOnie stretches each dancer to the max, working every fibre of their bodies to every corner of the theatre.
Stand-out performances could be attributed to any of them, however my eye was always drawn to Kirsty Mather. I watched her facial expressions and saw the drama unfold through her eyes before even taking note of her beautiful dancing. Saying that, all the girls were technically and stylistically brilliant performers, extending lines and movement further than I thought the space could allow. The boys were equally as talented, but again my eye was drawn more to one: Jonathan Ollivier, whose strength, masculinity and grace combined are a force to be admired.
On first impressions, Good Morning Midnight could be a show that appeals mostly to those who appreciate contemporary or classical dance, however in reality, its audience should be anyone who appreciates the beauty of something unknown. McOnie’s choreography and TTJ’s soothing yet exciting music collate perfectly to create this piece of theatre. Exciting and electric, it inspired me, and I hope the rest of the audience, to stretch further, reach higher and not feel limited by surroundings. Good Morning Midnight defies the confines of a small theatre space and takes the audience on an unforgettable journey through the night-time.
Review by Natasha Wynn
11th November 2012