A Brighton-based comedy dance/theatre duo with a humorous and gritty take on real-life experience. They create engaging, innovative and accessible work that can be enjoyed by audiences with any amount of prior experience of theatre and dance.
“All the best work begins with our deeply personal experiences. The Hiccup Project instinctively dig into that place and find a richly comic and authentically physical world there.”
— Ben Duke, Lost Dog
A note from The Hiccup Project…
We started The Hiccup Project in 2014, with no set idea of what it was or how things would map out, just to enjoy making something and we’re beyond proud and amazed at how wonderful this journey has been to date. Over the last 5 years we’ve made 3 full length shows and performed our work over 100 times! We’ve taught and worked with over 2,000(!!!) wonderful people aged 14-80 and been supported by too many people to mention, but we are, as ever, grateful all who have followed our journey and been involved in our work.
It’s time for us now to press pause and take some substantial time out from The Hiccup Project, to fill up our cups and explore and pursue individual paths and new avenues. We aren’t sure of our future plans yet, we’re going to keep things open-ended and see how it all goes. It’s a new and exciting time for us, as we venture in new journeys, but we’re both read for some change and excited to see what happens.
A special big THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who supported our Kickstarter project which enabled us to get to Edinburgh Fringe in August with new show Lovely Girls. Performing at ZOO Southside Main House for 14 performances was wonderful. We were mentioned in The Guardian as one of the Top 3 Dance shows to see in the UK (culture highlight of the week), and received some glowing reviews…
★★★★★ “Overall, Lovely Girls is truly a force to be reckoned with, as it manages to be both explosive in spectacle, and intimate in material. The show is poignant yet punchy, self-aware yet uninhibited, clumsy yet endearing; but at its core, it is a show that Edinburgh’s Fringe is long overdue for, and one that everyone must sit front and centre to experience.”
Read the full review from Theatre Weekly HERE
★★★★ “…as they admit, calling someone “lovely” is not an insult, it becomes condescending when applied to MacKerron and Dillon-Reams; their mastery of physicality and theatricality goes so far beyond outward appearance that to label them with a single word seems impossible.”
Read the Three Weeks review HERE
★★★★ “The Hiccup Project’s novel mix of dance, theatre & comedy is infused with joyful abandon, whimsical humour & a soul-stirring, uplifting sense of empowerment.” -
Fringe Biscuit review HERE
★★★★ “Fuelled by comedy that is at once goofy and sexy, the award-winning duo set the scene of their feminist farce, aided by a rousing soundtrack and a fetching assortment of props.” -
Read the full review from A younger Theatre HERE
“Chess and Cristina dance a cracking playlist of choreographies that underline their politics, technical training, and most importantly reveal they can dance like nobody’s watching”
Read the full Total Theatre Review HERE
“Uplifting, unapologetic and empowering” — Epigram Arts
Chess and Cristina — multi-award winning comedic dance theatre company The Hiccup Project — are often called the ‘lovely hiccup girls’.
Brand new show Lovely Girls follows Cristina and Chess’ poignant, hilarious and truthful journey as they explore what it means to be young women today, opening up the confusing pot of contradictions, clichés and expectations:
Have sex and be sexy, but don’t be a slut. Strive for a good career, but make time for everyone else. Be curvy, but not fat. Be assertive, but not bossy …
Chess and Cristina dig deep and ask what more can we hope for a woman to be, when we still value women by their beauty and ‘loveliness’?
“… They dance, frolic and sweat through the show with the chemistry between them ensuring perfect comic timing” — Epigram Arts
“The Hiccup Project’s unique way of looking at things has struck a chord with audiences far and wide, a reflection of being able to address the ‘unsayable’ with humour, sensitivity and consummate skill … there are few artists that can pull off what they do” — Breaking The Fourth Wall
“Physical comedy and dance are stupendous companions when they work — and Chess and Cristina have the energy and the intelligence to make it work here. Their dance is skilled, their timing is spot-on, and their comedy is hilarious.” — Fringe Guru
Cristina and Chess have both experienced smashing their two front teeth. It affected them and it got them thinking. In a culture preoccupied with keeping emotions under control, and for everything to always be ‘fine’: how do we deal with difficult things? What happens if we don’t want to deal with them? Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry and sometimes we try our best to distract ourselves.
But don’t worry: it’s okay, we’re dealing with it.
Through their multi award-winning combination of dance, comedy, chat and song, Cristina and Chess unravel their own struggles and vulnerabilities and try to piece together how to cope with them.
“Comparable to French and Saunders … the work defies theatrical convention in every sense.” — Miro Magazine
“It’s okay, I’m dealing with it” was chosen for the Brighton Fringe 2016 WINDOW showcase.
The show has been mentored by Ben Duke (Lost Dog Dance), Tim Casson (Casson & Friends) and Lou Cope, with continued support from the South East Dance Emerging Artists Scheme.
“The show was fantastic — it had pace and humour, the synchronized movement was tight, innovative and had the audience chuckling with recognition.” — Broadway Baby
Multi-award winning May-We-Go-Round? is a collision of fiercely energetic dance and comedic theatre. Honest, provocative and laugh-out-loud funny, Cristina and Chess jangle through the merry go round of romance, taking audiences along for the bitter sweet ride.
“Men laugh from their very core … in a story that every
woman can relate to.”
— Total Theatre
technically stellar … euphoric, and so infectious”
— Fest magazine
“A show filled with joy and wit, brilliantly choreographed and perfectly timed.”
— Hereford Times
From direct extracts in Chess’ diary aged 10 to teenage summer flings, Cristina and Chess open a window on the hilarious highs and heartbreaking lows of their romantic encounters. Ultimately it celebrates the power of their female friendship, the launch for their adventures.
Are we enjoying it? Yes. Does it make sense? No.
But round and round we go ...
“Genre-splatting, refreshing, inventive …
Theatre and dance that hurls custard pies at convention. Outstanding.”
— Paul Levy, Fringe Review
Lovely Girls, “It’s okay, I’m dealing with it” and May-We-Go-Round? are available for touring, represented by Sarah Trist Dance Management Agency.
Chess and Cristina met at school as part of an extra-curricular dance company (in which they performed together, on a table, to the sound of Smack My Bitch Up by The Prodigy). They lived together in Leeds for three years, where they drank Sainsbury’s Basics Vodka, ate questionable home-baked gluten-free goodies and massaged each other’s calves. On their return to Brighton in 2014 they began messing around in studios, and The Hiccup Project was born.
May-We-Go-Round was the company’s first work. After receiving the Pebble Trust Award in December 2015, the show achieved a 5 night sell out in Brighton Fringe 2015, and has since toured nationally, including a well received 10-day run at Dance Base in Edinburgh Fringe 2016. Their second show, “It’s okay, I’m dealing with it”, was chosen to be part of the Brighton Fringe Window Showcase in 2016, and achieved a 5 night sell out. The show was re-developed, with mentoring from Ben Duke and premiered at Brighton Festival 2017 to a sell out audience.
Cristina trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating with a First Class BA (Hons). Whilst in training she worked with Balbir Singh, Angus Balbernie, Hagit Bar, Gary Clarke, Charles Linehan and Rod Dixon (Red Ladder Theatre). During this time, her interest in the fusing of movement and theatrical practices developed. Her works The only issue is … and My journey to the floor … were performed at The Riley Theatre and Yorkshire Dance in Leeds, as well as Dance City, Newcastle.
Chess began her professional training with the Centre for Advanced Training at Laban, where she worked with Lee Smikle, Hofesh Shechter Company and Henri Oguike Dance Company. Chess graduated with a BA (Hons) from Northern School of Contemporary Dance, where she worked with Simon Birch, Rod Dixon, Rita Marcalo and Douglas Thorpe. Chess furthered her training with Jasmin Vardimon’s apprenticeship company JV2, touring nationally with work by Paul Blackman/Christine Gouzellis, David Lloyd and Jasmin Vardimon.