At first they take up poses in an exemplary exhibition of stillness. Then, for the next hour, they jiggle their bodies; jump on the spot and sideways in tight formation; wriggle as a group under a sheet of plastic; step backwards and forwards across the stage; and walk in a stilted shuffle. Finally they pull off the rubber bands and move a fraction more freely.
With the help of a page of program notes, I interpret this to represent inhumane treatment of women by men. There is also a bossy woman – played by Cloe Fournier, director/ choreographer of Mea Culpa – who presumably toes the masculine line in a sparkly dress, high-heeled shoes and a shower cap, and an androgynous figure dressed like an assistant in a toxic laboratory, who acts as a stagehand.
The performers have obviously worked hard to rehearse the actions that they complete creditably. They deserve better material, as does the audience.
At the end, the bossy character strips naked and the stagehand approaches her from behind with a bucket. Could this be filled with water and …? It was. The water was tipped all over her. Pity it couldn’t have happened earlier. But I am not sure where this fits in with the theme. Was it man getting the last word or an unspoken thought from the audience?