Fringe 2015 – Hex – The Royal Croquet Club- Black Box – 3K

By Tom Eckert


Hex is an abstract dance piece directed and choreographed by James Welsby and performed by himself, James Andrews and Chafia Brooks. It is an emotive expression of the effect of AIDS in both reality and concept on the gay community.

This expression is accomplished very adeptly by the three incredibly athletic dancers. The establishment of a certain degree of bathos through the poignant juxtaposition of death and suffering with a celebration of club and gay dance culture is a pivotal element of this production and the choreography achieves this very effectively. The utilisation of styles strongly associated with the culture, including vogue, tie this expression tightly to the community and at times verge on the spiritual with certain sequences being reminiscent of traditional depictions of the Bodhisattva.

Borrowing elements from the theatre of cruelty to express the suffering inherent in the subject matter, Welsby and his cast utilize a highly percussive stage and some intelligent musical arrangement creating a very evocative atmosphere.

This piece is clearly of deep emotional importance to Welsby and he conveys this with a strong and impactful production. The dancers themselves are very capable managing to complete a full hour of very athletic movement with very little notable drop in energy or synchrony, especially admirable in the fierce afternoon heat. There is a clear intelligence and passion behind this piece and what it manages to convey on its audience without relying on any conventional narrative form is truly an experience.


Kryztoff Rating: 3K

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