Combining literary texts with physical theatre is hardly revolutionary, but few are doing it with such outlandish aplomb as out of Inc. Founded in 2001 by Sinéad Rushe (a former All Ireland dance champion and, rather bizarrely, the voice of Judy on The Tweenies), the company has pushed the boundaries of dance-infused theatre with what can only be described as hallucinogenic abandon.
Two-hander Life in the Folds is inspired by the work of Belgian poet Henri Michaux. Despite a penchant for sniffing things somewhat stronger than Camembert, Michaux might still have been hard pushed to imagine his prose poems about pain, endurance and revenge re-enacted by two women in sparkly green trousers to a soundtrack of Irish jazz, Vivaldi and drum ‘n’ bass. Also spoken aloud and interpreted by a clown-like character called Plume, Michaux’s surreal and often grotesque work happily recounts stuffing people into sacks, grinding others into sausage meat and roasting ungrateful dinner guests on the spit.
Delightfully warped it may be, but Rushe is sharp to translate two-dimensional art into movement. Michaux’s own paintings have dancing, letter-like characters that form a kind of alphabetical ballet. The effect is to show that whether something is on a page, canvas or stage, it’s always alive; it’s just a question of how you look at it.