This Side of Paradise, Arches@TheGlue Factory, Glasgow
Last October, this was a work-in-progress at the Arches. ****
A year on, Dudendance returned with a new version of the work, tailoring it to suit the dank chill of the Glue Factory. The film noir sub-stories were stripped out, leaving the nameless, faceless threat of black-clad mutants – lumpen, mis-shapen forms with robotic gait – to invade the dim-lit rooms, like vengeful escapees from some war-based video game.
Their blindly relentless aggression wasn't aimed at us. But the uncertainty hovered: what if technology went rogue? Our gizmos turned against us? An evil genius manipulated machines that wouldn't die, but reactivated to keep on killing? The stuff of such sci-fi nightmares astutely taps into the primal fears we harbour still. And even when the soundscore edged into cha-cha-cha cheesiness, or Paul Rous (co-director of Dudendance, with Clea Wallis) lumbered on like a manga slayer, one arm a huge hammer the other a club, the black humour was countered by four battered creatures reviving in order to start another cycle of destruction between us and the exit.