Now based in Glasgow, Bowditch conceived Falling in Love with Frida as a tribute to the multi-faceted Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; and the piece comes to the Lilian Baylis studio fresh from the Edinburgh fringe, where it returned this year following a sell-out run and a Herald Angel Award last year.
The work delves into Frida Kahlo’s life as a disabled artist and a woman in thrall to an obsessive love for an immensely talented but difficult husband, the painter Diego Rivera.
Herself disabled, Caroline Bowditch has worked extensively with artists with a variety of physical limitations, as well mixed disabled and able-bodied groups, such as CanDoCo. She feels a natural affinity with Frida Khalo, whom she describes as “one of the finest women who lived.”
More than just a biographical work, though, Falling in Love with Frida is a set of reflections on being disabled, being an artist, what we reveal, but more importantly what we conceal; and whether we can control how we’re remembered and others’ memories of us.
If this sounds too heavy, it isn’t. Bowditch is a dab hand a mixing light and shadow, depth and humour. With her three fellow performers, whom she encouraged to connect with Kahlo’s work and find Frida, Bowditch performs both on and around a big yellow moveable table, all in vibrantly coloured costumes in a bright set inspired by the sunshine and folklore of Mexico.
The show mingles movement with speech, including erotic readings and lines such as ‘you drank to drown your sorrows but the damned things learned to swim.’ At one point the audience is invited to share in the work by drinking a shot of tequila.
This is, in short, a courageous work which starts from a specific point of view but then expands to appeal to a wide and varied audience.
Age guidance: 16+ (contains themes of an adult nature)
|What||Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida, Lilian Baylis Studio|
Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
05 Oct 15 – 06 Oct 15, 20:00 mat Tuesday 15:30
|Website||click here to book through the Sadlers's Wells website|