Elijah W Harris ©fgstudios
And the Rest of Me Floats by Outbox Theatre – Rose Lipman Theatre, Haggerston
In a Haggerston community centre, seven young performers share their individual experiences of sexuality. They are a diverse LBGTQ group, including gay, non-sexual, men, women and transgender and various labels you might care to use but their stories are, of course, as individual as anybody’s. And the Rest of Me Floats is a highly enjoyable devised performance exploring queer space outside traditional gender definitions. There are costumes and glitter balls, dancing and singing, confession and affirmation. There is a great version of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’. It is very much theatre as it is in 2017, mashing together forms with ease, and applying genre-busting logic to break down the borders of perceived, sexual identity.
Directed by Ben Buratta, Outbox Theatre has devised a mesh of interlocking stories, staged with energy and commitment, and cunning use of minimal props. A torch beam provides crucial lighting effects, and a sheet of clingfilm performs a key role, but the stars are the performers who reveal their experiences of failing to fit in, to communicate with friends and family, and of seeking a definition. The internet is at the centre, not only bringing people together who thought they were alone, but also allowing them to shed their physicality and find their identities. There are stories of hardship and abuse, but the performers have as much to say about acceptance. They challenge the audience to really see them – as individuals, not as people defined by gender issues. And the Rest of Me Floats is a highly enjoyable evening, questioning social assumptions and having a great time doing it.