Edinburgh Fringe Review: My Plaice / The Lake

The Lincoln Company makes watery creatures its theme for this Edinburgh Fringe double bill. Nikki Mclusky’s The Lake takes inspiration from ballet Swan Lake and the tough training regime undertaken by classical dancers – “the years of repetition and perfection that lead to little more than being relegated to the peripheries of the stage”. Having attended dance college myself, I am aware of the agonising practice of steps necessary for professional success and was keen to see how this concept would be explored choreographically. But I was disappointed that the work was little more than non-ballet trained dancers poorly imitating Swan Lake poses and tangling themselves in lengths of white net.

Much more entertaining was My Plaice, with choreography by Rachel Bushell investigating life in an aquarium. We see two goldfish wiggling their fins, flirting with each other and then making babies in the tank’s castle. With disconcertingly exaggerated facial expressions, the piece at first seems like something hysterical patients might do in a movement therapy session, but its comedy value soon becomes apparent. Hilarious dance moves from the conga to the Macarena give an absorbing insight into fishy trials and tribulations, including fighting for food and hiding from a floating shark balloon. With the soundscape ranging from David Attenborough voice-overs to bubble sounds and pop number ‘You Sexy Thing’, My Plaice gives an irreverent and charming glimpse into life underwater.

*** – 3/5 stars

My Plaice / The Lake is playing at C venues as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival until 18 August. For more information and tickets, see the Edinburgh Fringe website.