Review: 6 Degrees Below the Horizon

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Braiding stage conventions with the characteristics of film noir, Imitating the Dog has always been an audacious company. Adore it or abhor it, the amalgam they produce is invariably special.

Not so much with 6 degrees Below the Horizon which started out life a couple of years ago as Tales from the Bar of Lost Souls. What began as a work in progress has certainly evolved, but has it made good progress?

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Some of the projections (a staple part of ITD’s presentation) are more striking this time, but somehow too obvious. While the actual mechanics of co-ordinating the appearance and disappearance of the stage behind the projection screen are often patchy.

And yet 6 Degrees, the story of a visiting sailor who resorts to desperate measures to 
get money after getting a local girl pregnant, is arguably ITD’s most conventional 
foray yet.

Perhaps the solution lies in being over-ambitious. It certainly seemed to pay off with their previous productions and when their newest creation, The Zero Hour, arrives at West Yorkshire Playhouse next week, it promises to be one of their most formidable projects to date.

As for 6 Degrees, it still has room for more improvement.

The Zero Hour, February 14 to 16, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds