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Happy as Larry

Shaun Parker & Company

The Lowry, 18 October 2011

Ghenoa Gela joyously doing her thing in Happy as Larry

Ghenoa Gela joyously doing her thing. Photo by Branco Gaica

Happiness is the topic of Shaun Parker’s new dance show.

Apparently based on the enneagram, it asks how people with wholly different approaches to life attain the grail of undiluted joy.

The roller skater who continually falls down, but still gets up again; who, infatuated with speed, goes faster and faster; who continually skirts close to the edge, playing with danger, illustrates one or maybe a range of approaches.  And of course there is little sense in waiting around for happiness to find you.  You need to seek it out: a commitment to creative activities and pursuits, short-term and long-term hedonism, responsible risk taking and experimentation; they are all necessary to get you to where you want to be.

There is also a carefree ballerina in the show, she’s ever looking on the bright side, but you cannot always go through life like that, can you?  How will she respond to life’s misfortunes, the obstacles and frustrations that will be strewn in her path, an unwelcome awareness of her fallibilities and imperfections?  Her problem-solving skills and general resilience will in time be called into question; and when situations are insoluble, acceptance is the key.  Self acceptance, especially.

I enjoyed Happy as Larry, a thought-provoking show full of vibrant incident, vivid colour and fiery explosions of motion.  Ghenoa Gela’s disco dancing was hilarious, the outstanding moment of the show in my book.

In short, seeing this show made me happy.

Happy as Larry is at The Lowry again tonight and then it goes to Newcastle, full tour dates are here.