JOY, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Ava Davies

all good artists are dead return with their second show as a collective: JOY is a wide-ranging and stretchy exploration of diaspora and sex. Dina Gordon performs as Joy, a woman who contains multitudes.

It is the final dregs of a night out – Andrea Giordani is still DJing onstage but no-one is dancing. Joy speaks to her boyfriend, John – an inflatable sex doll. Screams at him. Sings to him. She’s looking for connection.

We occupy this liminal space with Joy – she weaves stories for us and they intertwine and overlap so we can’t even begin to make out where they begin and end. Giordani’s pulsing electro underpins the piece and pushes Joy forward and backwards, into and through the past, present and future.

Gordon’s writing is evocative, if impenetrable. The stretchiness of her narratives and density of the script make the piece difficult to pin down. JOY, ultimately, is an enthralling if partially unfulfilling experience.

JOY ran through 11 February.

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