Conviction and Daring in Eva Recacha’s Easy Rider


    Easy Rider, Eva Recacha/The Place: The Place, London, 26.0.2014 (J.O’D)

Eva Recacha Easy Rider Photo by Chris Nash

Eva Recacha Easy Rider Photo by Chris Nash

Performers: Antonio de la Fe, Lola Maury, Alberto Ruiz Soler, Eleonor Sikorski
Design:  Kasper Hansen
Costume Supervisor: Sophie Bellin Hansen
Lighting Design: Jackie Shemesh
Sound Artist: Alberto Ruiz Soler
Text: Eleonor Sikorski

Looking at the two women and one man sprawled or prostrate, and in varying degrees of undress, on the floor around the sound deck at the end of Eva Recacha’s Easy Rider, it was difficult to believe they were the same three people who began the evening standing close together in unremarkable clothes at the back of the stage, watching impassively as the audience took its seats. In retrospect, intimations of their power as performers (and the power of what they performed) were to be found in their faces even then, and in the way they first marked out their territory. Still in the same huddled group, they traced a line with small footsteps around the boundaries of the performance space, their eyes always on the audience, whistling ‘We three kings of Orient are’ so that is sounded almost sinister. As they did this, the man sitting at the sound deck (Alberto Ruiz Soler) worked a system of pulleys to raise a suspended, yellow star diagonally to the roof.

Recacha’s piece (which opened this year’s Spring Loaded season at The Place) is concerned with faith and superstition and ‘our need to belong’. Its simple stage properties (yellow towel, a pair of gold or of black, sequinned trousers) are combined with carefully composed sound and lighting (Jackie Shemesh) to create the atmosphere of a bullfight, a Holy Week procession (Antonio de la Fe holds his body as rigidly as the figure on a crucifix), a confessional reality-TV show.  Spanish-born Recacha also uses the spoken word, but the performers are not slickly wired; they hold their microphones for themselves and for each other. What they say is not slick, either. Sometimes they engage in a dialogue with their own recorded voices. Sometimes they speak to the voice of a disembodied woman. Sometimes they speak to each other. What they speak about is love.

Antonio de la Fe, Lola Maury and Eleanor Sikorski show a complete and unflagging absorption in their performances. Strength comes off their bodies as they move. Sikorski (the writer of the words), especially, seems to undergo transformation during the course of the piece. Her voice becomes richer and fuller. She appears to grow in stature. Bespectacled at the start, and wearing a white frilly blouse, she will later shake herself out of her jeans by flapping around the floor like a fish to reveal the gold trousers underneath. There is also a selflessness in the way that she smooths back the hair from Maury’s sweating forehead as they stand side by side in dialogue with de la Fe.

Easy Rider is not a perfectly realized work. There are moments early on when its references seem esoteric. Whatever its shortcomings, they are made up for by its conviction and daring. Towards the end it plunges the audience into an uncomfortably prolonged darkness. When the lights come on again (dimly) the three performers are standing close together at the very front of the stage. Almost naked, they soon afterwards embark on a rave-like frenzy that verges on the dangerous (bottles of water are thrown; Sikorski crawls underneath the sound deck). It leaves them lying on the floor and most of the audience at The Place open-mouthed in admiration and surprise.


John O’Dwyer

Print Friendly


Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews


Season Previews

  • NEW! Leeds Lieder’s Forthcoming Schubert Song Series in Leeds and Sheffield __________________________________
  • NEW! Svetlana Zakharova and Bolshoi Stars Bring Amore to the London Coliseum in November __________________________________
  • NEW! Tom Green and Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife Premieres on 15 October in Cardiff __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Ballet’s 2017 – 2018 Autumn/Winter Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Contemporary Music from Manchester’s Psappha in 2017-18 __________________________________
  • NEW! I Musicanti’s ‘Alexandra and the Russians’ at St Johns Smith Square, 2017-18 __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2017 Oxford Lieder Festival – The Last of the Romantics __________________________________
  • NEW! Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov’s Return to London in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! St John’s Smith Square announces its 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Pierre Boulez Saal’s 2017/18 Season in Berlin __________________________________
  • NEW! Birmingham and Beyond: Ex Cathedra in 2017/18 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Glyndebourne Opera Cup and Glyndebourne in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Opera’s 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

  • NEW! What is the Critic’s Job? A Review of A. O. Scott’s Recent Book __________________________________
  • NEW! English Music Festival in Yorkshire Lifts the Lid Off an English Treasury __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Philadelphia’s Inaugural O17 Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! A FULLY STAGED PILGRIM’S PROGRESS IN ORLEANS, MA __________________________________
  • NEW! JIŘÍ BĔLOHLÁVEK (1946-2017) AND THE CZECH CONDUCTING LEGACY __________________________________
  • NEW! JUSTIN DOYLE DISCUSSES MONTEVERDI WITH MARK BERRY __________________________________
  • NEW! Katie Lowe Wins the 2017 Elizabeth Connell Prize __________________________________
  • NEW! Opportunity for a Rare Composition Masterclass with Gavin Bryars in April 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! ITINÉRAIRE BAROQUE 2017: TON KOOPMAN TALKS TO COLIN CLARKE __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House in Mumbai is Restored to its Former Glory __________________________________
  • NEW! iSING! – International Young Artists Festival in Suzhou, China __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month

    Search S&H