Originally published on The Public Reviews
Tiger Dublin Fringe
10 Exchequer Street
Drawing inspiration from the Pitch Drop experiment on display in the library of Trinity College Dublin, Black Pitch Pitch Black is an exercise in waiting. As the audience enters and sits on the ground looking up at Murphy who sits on a chair suspended metres above the floor there is already a sense of anticipation.
Over the course of the show Murphy’s character waits for a drop of pitch to fall. We see her spend days methodically checking the experiment, working and watching, watching and waiting. As she swings from silk to silk in a beautifully designed set, suspended above the floor, the audience is drawn into the feeling of anticipation around the experiment.
However, basing an aerial dance piece around waiting and repetition can result in a piece that begins to lose its audience. Though the production effectively creates the atmosphere around the experiment, the audience was evidently beginning to shuffle and fidget by the third repetition of the piece. More justice could potentially have been done to the concept and Murphy’s skilful choreography and performance had the format been changed to a rolling installation perhaps, in which the audience were free to wait to their limits with the character but also free to move and return.
Overall, Black Pitch Pitch Black is a beautiful, atmospheric piece, but one that does not entirely suit the format in which it was presented.