This review was originally written for The Public Review.
Jessica Latowicki is perched precariously on a flimsy exercise bike under a light, pedalling constantly. She tells of the love affair she had with a seemingly average, dorky journalist who turns out to have some quite extraordinary abilities. During the story, a sound cue periodically prompts her to pedal furiously whilst carrying out some modern excesses. For example, over dressing, being overly made-up and overindulging in food and drinks.
This one off performance of Made In China’s debut show in the middle of the run of their latest offering, Gym Party, which is also currently at the BAC. It is a commentary on the modern singleton, Bridget Jones’ lifestyle and the loneliness and imbalance it brings. The subject matter and its commentary are not original but the strength of the show is in its strong visual images and humour. Latowicki trying delicately to curl her eyelashes while going as fast as possible on the bike is a particularly strong image as there is a poignancy and ridiculousness in the contrast of the two actions.
Another highlight is Latowicki herself who performs with gusto and has a sincerity and intimacy in delivery, even if the story is obviously fictional and slightly absurd. It is a demanding performance, not least with the pedalling and having to cope with the less than robust exercise bike. Although the story is told in a nonchalant, matter of fact manner, there is an underlying sadness for the loss of her love. In the end, the combined effects of the emotional suffering and its manifest indulgences not only left a mark on her, but also around her.