If you like trawling for hidden magic in back-alley Fringe venues, let me save you time. Life in the Folds, tucked away in Hill Street, is the most delightfully bizarre piece of theatre you’re likely to find this side of mescaline. From the surrealist prose poetry of Henri Michaux (himself a little partial to hallucinogens, apparently), Sinéad Rushe and Jenny Boot conjure a waking dream encompassing everything from jazz dance to slapstick, drum’n’bass to gothic horror.
Threading the poems and music together is a clown-like character called Plume, who travels the world in a series of tragi-comic and grotesque adventures, including the accidental dismemberment of his wife. Rushe and Boot pass his role seamlessly between them, using startlingly inventive choreography, a few choice props and a humorous synergy that recalls Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon.
One moment, Rushe is a fine-tuned blur across the stage; the next, she is stuffed in a canvas bag, ready for the “sausage cellar”. It’s like Hieronymus Bosch meets Riverdance. Yet the scenes of camp horror (spit-roasting of annoying dinner-party guests, anyone?) only serve to heighten the unexpected beauty in this oddly life-enhancing show. See it for dance theatre at its innovative, exuberant best.