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Virgin Territory review at the Place, London – ‘Teen performers hold their own’

By Lyndsey Winship

Evening Standard, 3 November 2016

The hypersexualisation of society and its effect on young women is a live issue, and it’s one choreographer Charlotte Vincent tackles in Virgin Territory, a dance theatre piece that zooms in on a selfie-obsessed culture that confuses ‘Likes’ with being liked.

A cast of four adult performers are joined by four excellent teens – holding their own in a very grown up production – which lends authenticity to Vincent’s investigation, as do some, at times, shocking real-world voiceovers.

Vincent brings comedy to the subject, from a ye olde soft porn scene (because millennials didn’t invent sex, you know) to a morris dancing troupe waving knickers in the air instead of hankies, but quickly slips into the truly sinister, the online groomer whose task is made easy by his prey publicly posting her every move.

Not as searing as it could be, perhaps, but this work asks important questions: is there a line from little girls in princess dresses to teenage lipstick and hitched-up school skirts to silicon-enhanced Barbie bodies? Can what the internet has unleashed ever be put back in the bottle?

Two of the girls whisper at the edge of the stage, “We need to talk about the adults,” one says to the other. “They need to set a better example.”