For anyone who has seen the live show formerly known as Time Gentlemen Please, The Lock In, filmed in Huddersfield, is a wonderful way to watch the show over and over, and it does stand up to repeated viewing.
For those not acquainted with the stage show, The Lock In is set in a pub, where the folkie regulars are joined by three hip hoppers, and a battle of sorts ensues, as the two dance cultures collide, trying to make sense of each other. It isn’t giving too much away to say that by the end there is a mutual respect and indeed fusion of ideas going on.
The brainchild of Damien Barber, The Lock In mixes not just dance styles but also music, with the Demon Barbers providing much of the music, but beatboxer Grace Savage seriously impressing on her chosen instrument too. The beats and sound effects she creates add an extra layer of style and fun to the proceedings. Her beatbox assault on ’Jasmine’ is perhaps the comedy highlight of the entire show.
In terms of the dancing, since the reviewer has a morris background the impressive stuff comes in the form of a morris jig duel and pool cue longsword dancing. But there is no denying the extreme skill of the hip hoppers, all choreographed by Boback Walker. His solo dance contemplating on a lone white handkerchief is poignant and quite beautiful.
As might be expected, the finale is all out dance excitement, with Damien and Boback pulling off some truly impressive strength and acrobatic moves whilst singing Three Drunken Maidens.
Also included on the DVD is the documentary Dancing With Demons, which gives some really interesting insights into the genesis of the show, and Damien Barber’s background. Well worth a watch for those interested in getting some background information.
At times during the show the camera cuts a little too much, making frenetic dancing even more so, and the film quality is, as to be expected, not cinema quality. But none of this detracts from the performance, and the energy on stage transfers well.
The Lock In is a rare beast, that truly transcends genres. Recommended for folk dancers, Demon Barbers fans, and anyone interested in seeing an incredible piece of dance theatre.Liz Osman
Released by Safecracker Pictures on 8th October 2012.
The Lock In Show
Dancing With Demons documentary
Dance Off at the Cumberland Arms
Black Swan Rapper at DERT 2002
Dogrose Morris - Demon Barbers Roadshow Promo 2004
Black Swan Fire Dance at Sidmouth International Folk Arts Festival 2003
Katy Cruel - Demon Barbers Roadshow Promo 2004
Highlights from the Tynemouth Station Jubilee Performance
Two Brothers - Demon Barbers Roadshow Promo 2004
Horace Panter and Stewart Lee Interviews