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Chivalry Is Dead: Heavy metal show ends with a bang

Belfast International Arts Festival

By Andrew Johnston

There were two ways to take last night's performance of Chivalry Is Dead at the Mac, part of the rebranded Belfast International Arts Festival.

You could buy into the show's stated agenda of investigating themes of gender, courtesy, gallantry, morals and masculinity.

Or you could just revel in the bizarre, immersive spectacle of it all. Two men, two suits of armour, some inventive lighting and a clanging cacophony added up to a viscerally entertaining 45 minutes.

Alex Deutinger and Alexander Gottfarb didn't say a word, but their body language spoke volumes as they variously inched, lurched, charged and fell about the stage.

At certain points, the rhythmic nature of Deutinger and Gottfarb's movement became hypnotic, almost musical.

The respectively Austrian and Swedish duo may have been sweating beneath the chainmail and metal plates, but they remained in control throughout.

The final 10 minutes saw the sound and lighting swallow up the artists, with the atmosphere descending to something akin to a horror movie.

Not only did Deutinger and Gottfarb take each other's suits of armour apart; so, too, did Chivalry Is Dead dismantle itself until all that remained was a shroud of dry ice and a deafening hum.

Four stars

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