Jerk, Company: Emma Serjeant (AUS)
Venue: Brighton Spiegeltent, Category: Theatre
15-17 May 19:30 £12 (£10) [1hr]
Along with the rest of the audience, which was unfortunately less than half of the venue’s capacity, I shuffled my bottom onto a wooden folding chair at the front row. Chit-chat was passing from person to person, until a man wearing what looked like a male flight attendant outfit gestured to look up. There hanging from the centre of The Speigeltent was Emma Serjeant. Holding onto a metal ring she was slowly lowered and from quite a height, higher than I was expecting her to be and possibly higher than she was expecting, she let go and with a massive thud landed ready to perform onto the stage. This impact was an indicator of how the rest of the show would be; hard hitting as if Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball had swung uncontrollably slamming into the audience’s bodies catapulting everyone into the stratosphere.
From above us Emma asked the question “where am I?” This was the beginning of a story that was woven around the circus skills and apparatus that we would observe over the next 55 minutes. The music that accompanied the story added further suspense and drama and helped to illustrate the plot.
Emma plays Grace, a popular, attractive photographer that every woman is jealous of, but we learn that behind the public front is a life of cheating, cocaine taking and self-obsession. Through props and physical theatre we are taken on a journey through a life-changing moment.
At times, the audience shook when she did. The nature of the story makes this show jerky (there are many different connections to the show’s name). You will sweat with her, shake and your heart will beat faster with her. This is not a piece of ballet, this is a piece of physical theatre that will take you on a journey, you, the audience are dragged into it, you become it. This is not polished, do not expect a Royal Opera House performance, this is gritty, sweaty, I was digging my nails into my fiance’s thigh as the sound of a screeching truck was played through the speakers. Emma’s clever use of props and undeniable skill to engage with the audience will leave you talking about it to people that were there and those that have no idea what you’re on about, you will think about it while having a shower or eating your breakfast, the cogs of your brain turning as you play and rewind the show piecing the puzzle together.
Unfortunately Jerk was only on for three nights, but Emma will be returning as part of Casus, with their show Knee Deep. This is another performance that pushes physical boundaries, or the boundaries that we believe that we have. Book your ticket for this show and witness Emma’s strength and talent, before she packs up and leaves Brighton.
Catch Emma Serjeant in Knee Deep with Casus at the Brighton Spiegeltent 27th-31st May £12/£15
Rosie Davis - follow on Twitter @RosieDavisred