This production is one of two different performances at the Brighton Fringe this year by the same Brazilian company, ParaladosnajoS, this year’s winner of the The Pebble Trust International Touring Bursary.
The Wet & Dry of the title refers to a period of time in Brazil 20 years ago, of floods followed by two years of drought. So it’s a prescient commentary on climate change, and this physical and visual performance is an exploration of this period.
It is inspired by the real and re-imagined stories of people who have suffered the onslaught of natural disasters. It offered four distinct scenes, directed by four different directors of international renown, to explore the human capacity to overcome obstacles and survive extreme situations.
The performance in both English and Portuguese (although largely mime), combined the different elements, water, wind and so on, in myriad ways, finding quirky solutions to conveying this, including a giant zorb as a feature. Thus creating a sense of birthing new life with a celestial music accompaniment.
Sparkly allusions to glittering fish, followed by frantic movement, mimicking a sense of an incoming apocalypse. This show was so very different from their other production in Brighton Fringe this year, The Twins, a funny, family-friendly show featuring clowning, and aerial circus.
I’m glad I’ve seen both, as it enabled me to understand the breadth of the artistry of the team. With a ringing phone interspersed throughout and a monocolour backdrop and set, whilst the performers ‘swam’, this proved quite prophetic as it started pouring with rain outside the venue at the same time.
The two productions are so very different, and I found this Wet & Dry show harder to engage with as it was more abstract, with lots of physical repetition evoking something like epigenetic or muscle memory.
Having said that, the second act with a musical 1950s segment, featured some very acrobatic love making, followed by a unique and uplifting upside down heavy rock trapeze. This brought the audience to life and was a fitting ending to the show.
The duo are supremely talented and I do look forward to seeing what they come up with next for this company. They are really pushing the boundaries of circus and they are definitely worth a watch.
‘At times dramatic, at times comic, always visually enchanting.’ Total Theatre Magazine
Winner of the Bank Ovation Award, National Arts Festival, South Africa (2021).
Performed by Marcos Becker and Marilia Ennes
Directed by Fernando Villar, Idit Herman, Monica Alla, Raquel Scotti Hirson
Original Soundtrack Vinicius Sampaio and Dmitry Tyulpanov (Derevo)