Dance, Physical theatre and circus review: For Only An Hour, Dance Base, Edinburgh

Without saying a word or moving a muscle, Phil Sanger is already a sight to behold.

For Only An Hour, Dance Base (venue 22)

For Only An Hour, Dance Base * * * *

Attached to his beard are hundreds of tiny sequins, glued into place and dazzling us with their strange splendour.

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His motivation for making this blend of dance, spoken word and drag came from a political place – his frustration at the treatment of gay people in less tolerant nations around the world. None of that is referenced here, but his very presence as a gay man, talking openly about sex, is a statement in itself when such behaviour would be illegal elsewhere.

Politics aside, this show is a blast. Sanger himself has a warmth and charm that instantly draws us in. Hailing from Barnsley (a fact which leads to some fun audience participation), he’s got a down-to-earth quality and easy manner that puts an audience at ease. He’s also very funny, a very good dancer and knows how to put both skills to good use.

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Mentored by renowned movement artists Wendy Houston and Luca Silvestrini for this show, Sanger has taken the best of both and fused it with his own style. Peppering personal stories of dodging a relationship bullet and seriously wounding himself on the dancefloor, with witty citations from Bette Midler and Delia Smith.

It may only be an hour we spend with Sanger – but it’s a memorable one.


Until 25 August