lie to me

keith gallasch: rosie dennis, fraudulent behaviour

Rosie Dennis, Fraudulent Behaviour

Rosie Dennis, Fraudulent Behaviour

IS THIS THE REAL THING—ROSE DENNIS, IN A SHOW CALLED FRAUDULENT BEHAVIOUR, WITH WHITEBOARD, CHATTING AMIABLY TO US LIKE A RACONTEUR, LECTURER, STAND-UP THEORIST, FOR THE BEST PART OF AN HOUR? OR A FRAUD, A FAKE—NOT THE FAMED, REAL ROSIE DENNIS OF 20-MINUTE TOURETTE-ISH BOUTS OF QUICKFIRE POETRY AND SPASMS OF LOVE AND OTHER ANXIETIES.

This Rosie Dennis whiteboards Nietsche’s “We need lies in order to live”, rattles off a long list of everyday and sometimes very funny, lateral untruths that illustrate how we deceive others and ourselves and then breaks away to have a familiar word or two with a decoy duck in a bowl on a plinth. She inexplicably dances at length in loping, elegant strides and tight turns to Tom Waits. That seems innocent enough, unless she’s in a reverie, a private lie of being somewhere or someone else and ‘big in Japan.’

Next on the whiteboard is Herman Hesse: “There is no reality except the one contained within us; that’s why so many of us live unreal lives.” We are introduced, consequently, to an imaginary childhood friend, Elvira, who subverts the laws of physics and time and will take Dennis “to paradise one day.” This comforting lie segues into an account of a couple living out another, the ‘paradise’ of co-dependency. And on Dennis goes, delving into our snowdome reality (a sustained image both spoken and actual in the show) with a Paul Austerish intensification of coincidence and misconception as she recounts taking a long, perhaps potentially risky cab ride.

This other Rosie Dennis is an amusing then worrying confider, netting the sudden moments of self-awareness she prompts, trawling us with her into uncharted metaphysical outer space. By the end we might be missing the original manic Dennis a little, but this laidback substitute is just as scary, and possibly not a fraud at all, but the same person. Whatever, this new Rosie Dennis persona is an intriguing development, still evolving and not quite on top of her play with her puppet-ish props. But it’s lovely to be lied to so convincingly.

See our online producer Jo Skinner’s response to Fraudulent Behaviour, a video excerpt from the show and links to archived RealTime articles about Rosie Dennis.

Fraudulent Behaviour, performer, devisor Rosie Dennis, trumpet Simon Ferenci, Performance Space at CarriageWorks, June 11-12

RealTime issue #92 Aug-Sept 2009 pg. 38

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 August 2009
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