New rave review from criticaldance.org – couldn’t be more delighted on leaving EdFringe…

http://www.criticaldance.org/2015/08/18/locked-in-a-world-of-buried-memories-camera-obscura-a-way-of-seeing/

The Secret Dance Club
C, Edinburgh; August 17, 2015

Lille Hedderwick Turner and David Layne Photo George Peck
Lille Hedderwick Turner and David Layne
Photo George Peck
David Mead

The term ‘dementia’ describes a host of symptoms including memory loss and a difficulty to communicate, but is it that memories have disappeared for ever or more that they have become buried to the extent that they are near unreachable? It’s very much the latter suggests Derbyshire-based collective, The Secret Dance Club, in this powerful and compelling work, and that with the right touch they can, for a moment at least, be rekindled.

Debi Hedderwick is utterly compelling as Anna, who finds herself imprisoned in her world. Her acting is so impressively realistic that one feels it must have been borne out of experience. She stares out and says little, but all time there’s the sense that far from being an empty vessel, hers is a body full of remembrances. All that is needed is the key. That comes courtesy of her loving partner, Jacob (Paddy Turner) who, in an attempt to reconnect her with her past, produces a box of photographs, vinyl records and film.

For a moment there’s a flicker of life in her features when Anna hears a song from her past. More vivid and very powerful is a scene where she imagines her younger self in a mirror. Memories stir more when Jack plays a film that is full of the joys of them as a young couple. Yet for all the happiness, all the time overwhelming mood of poignancy and sadness at what has become remains. In the moments of stillness that punctuate the work, a loud ticking but unseen clock cleverly and effectively symbolises the passing of time.

Present-day Anna’s memories are given ghostly life by Lille Hedderwick Turner and David Layne as the younger couple. Their choreography is hugely expressive. They have fun, they embrace, they love, they argue, they make-up. Best is one long duet towards the end that is tender and caring, and full of soft, gentle supports as they wrap themselves around each other.

Camera Obscura doesn’t go anywhere. It ends as it starts. In a way that’s so appropriate. After all, the nature of dementia is that there is no cure. Threads are left hanging, questions left unanswered. What happened to the daughter seen in the past but not in the present? What happens to Jacob and Anna next? I left wanting more, but maybe that’s just how it should be.

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Lovely tweeting from audiences about Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing

@secretdanceclub highly recommend this absorbing, beautifully danced and heartfelt performance. Not to be missed

Highly recommend seeing ‘Camera Obscura’ show @edfringe Beautiful and uplifting @secretdanceclub @Cvenues incredibly moving performance

@secretdanceclub was very moved by your performance yesterday. Truly beautiful. I urge people visiting #edfringe2015 to go and see it!

Camera Obscura – such a moving and beautiful piece by @secretdanceclub! Everyone at the festival, go check it out! #EdinburghFringe

@secretdanceclub hey, i saw your performance on Friday, it was so moving, i cried. such strong performances. you were all so captivating.
Just caught @secretdanceclub’s ‘Camera Obscura’ – really REALLY beautiful!

plus endorsement from Alzheimer Scotland
Camera Obscura – a play @edfringe @Cvenues – explores love and dementia through the power of music @secretdanceclub https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/camera-obscura-a-way-of-seeing

Fantastic 4 STAR review from ThreeWeeks!!

★★★★

ThreeWeeks

How do you set a lifelong marriage to dance? Ask Lillie Hedderwick Turner and David Layne, whose performances in this show were pitch perfect. The choreography is ghostly, sexy, sad and passionate. The simple but hard-hitting narrative shows an elderly couple remembering their past, as the woman struggles with dementia, which is portrayed with realistic and touching acting. Some of the strongest motifs are drawn from the everyday: she standing on his feet as they dance close and slow. There are some threads left hanging: a child with an unexplained arm cast appears in the danced past but not in the acted present, and the incurable nature of dementia canít be erased from the ending. I left wanting more, and wanting to be in love.

[Lucy Diver]

Lovely review from The Scotsman!

Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter

★★★

It’s not easy to portray mental illness with honesty and truth, but Derbyshire-based collective The Secret Dance Club is right on target. This delicate exploration of dementia, and the impact it has on both those suffering, and those helplessly looking on, feels touchingly real.

Staring into space, Anna looks lost inside her own world. Joining her on the sofa, husband Jacob looks equally lost on how to reach her. Music, it transpires, is the answer, and the growing flicker of recognition which passes over Anna’s face as she listens to an old record is truly poignant.

Running alongside this fine acting is the Anna and Jacob of yesteryear, portrayed through contemporary dance. A young couple come together in passionate embraces, argue then reconnect, and spend time with their daughter in a touching depiction of what used to be.

With such strong material at its heart, Camera Obscura has much to offer, but the rather pedestrian staging and lighting design let it down slightly. A powerful moment between the two Annas (young and old) in front of and behind a mirror hits the spot, however, hinting at the show’s full potential.

C (VENUE 34), Until 18 August, 6:25pm / listings

Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing, cast and crew credits

Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing by The Secret Dance Club
@ C Main, Venue 34, Chambers Street

Cast and crew:

Debi Hedderwick (director, performer)
Lillie Hedderwick Turner (dancer)
David Layne (dancer)
Paddy Turner (performer, press contact)
and introducing Myrtle Pearson and Rowan Wiltshire (performers)

Chris Webb (film)
Ben Dew (lighting design)
Ceri Hedderwick Turner (Production Manager)

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with grateful thanks for support from many Friends of The Secret Dance Club, and The Red Lion Hotel Wirksworth for rehearsal space.

#madeinderbyshire
#edfringe
@Cvenues

Big thanks to all funding supporters

LTA and The Secret Dance Club would like to sincerely and appreciatively thank all the people who have supported The Secret Dance Club work, Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing, touring to Edinburgh Festival 2105 –
both through Lillie and David’s Kickstarter campaign (which supports their transport, accommodation and living costs whilst performing):

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Tz, P and P Hedderwick, Paul and Esther at the NLC, Sam C, Abi, Tom Noton, Mike Layne, Jamie Wallwork, Eve HT, Martin Gurnett, Matt Turner, Jez Bolton, Gill Wallwork, Tom Sankey, Maeve Quinn, Ceri HT, Andrew Nolan, Carol Cooper, Katy, Isabel, Neil, Jenny, Janet Rose, Amrou, Craig Hallsworth, Twister Cullen, Chris T, Jess T, Rob and Sara Leisso, Naomi J, Shelbie, Laura H, Petra Purple

and those who supported the fund-raiser at the Northern Light Cinema to support venue hire at the wonderful C Venues:

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Colin, Roy, Carol, Laura, Tony, Adam, Kit, Cath, Rob, Neil, Eleri, Chris, Lula, Jem, Barry and Liz, Kim, Chris, Carol, Paul, Denise, Chris, Jo, Cathy, Helen, Simon, Rob, Jackie, Clare, Gary, Bernie D, Graham, Carol, Andy, Nic, Marjolein, Jasmin, Pod, Wendy, Gav, Toby, Hugo, Jo, Ned, Sophie, Tricia, Martin, Nessie, Paul, Esther, Ewan

and finally the Red Lion Hotel, Wirksworth, who have so generously given the Function Room for us to rehearse in for the last three weeks…

Thank you each and everyone – we hope we will do you proud at C Venues this August…

Twitter newbies!!

We have finally joined the world of Twitter! Please make us feel at home and follow us… the more the merrier ey?!

Find us on Camera Obscura @secretdanceclub and if you’re feeling super supportive tweet about our show… the more awareness the better 😀