Bikes and Rabbits’ new work Triptych opens with a striking image: a scared-looking woman sitting on a chair, with a bicycle suspended and circling round her head. This surreal and dangerous scene sets the tone for a solo performance that leads the audience down a winding path of fantasy, memories and the odd nightmare.

Alice Allart’s performance, as the title suggests, comprises three scenes embodying three different women in their own skewed realities. The first scene finds Alice persecuted and institutionalised, jumping from chair to bike to chair, shouting and demanding to be understood. We don’t know how she has come to his place and she doesn’t tell us. She soars through the air on her bicycle, momentarily escaping the unseen torment that surrounds her at floor level. This opening section is punchy and unapologetic, with an edge of ambiguity that left me pleasingly confused as to whether I liked this character or not. As a piece of circus-dance-theatre, it takes a little while to settle into this hybrid performance style. A couple of the purely danced moments seemed a little uneasy on an acrobat’s body, but as the work progressed she (and we) warmed into the role well. She won me over finally by casually standing up on the bicycle while circling the stage, shouting “Is that enough for you?” – after that I was on her side.

The second section is where Alice’s charisma as a performer really shines. In a new time, place and state of mind, she is now a young woman in little black dress and heels, unsure of what to do with her femininity. Fantasies of being a housewife, lover and a pop star are played out in fifties Technicolor. Alice awkwardly seduces us with bubble-blowing and ribbon-twirling; she begins to flirt with us by dancing with her high heels, throwing and balancing them on arms, cheekily dangling them off one toe. This girlish sequence becomes comedic and grotesque as the stiletto heel balances in her ear, and yanks the corner of her mouth. The shoes don’t always balance where they’re supposed to; while the execution is not perfect, Alice’s communication with a wry smile or arched eyebrow beguiles and persuades us it is all part of the act. It almost felt more accessible and intimate with a couple of wobbles and dropped props.

Dancing with shoes and bubbles is all fairly frothy and amusing; it’s the addition of cabbages that really makes this scene. Six cabbages become juggling balls, stepping stones and brilliantly, a naughty pet that won’t obey its mistress. In a beautiful bit of physical theatre, Alice cajoles and coaxes it, grapples with it and, ultimately, in a horrifying few seconds, reduces it to a mess of shredded leaves with the heel of her shoe. The instant change from slapstick comedy to tragedy and pathos demonstrates how expertly parts of this work have been crafted. It is testament to Alice’s performance skills that she is able to make the audience feel empathy for even the most unpopular of vegetables.

After the cluttered stage of the middle section, the stage is swept clean and a slackline is hung across the space for the final scene. Four Chinese theatre masks are placed on the floor, one plain and the rest increasing in decoration to full make up. Alice enters in traditional Chinese dress, putting on each mask one at a time and embodying its character. She starts simply, balancing on the slack line and gently rocking on it. After the hysteria of the second act this is much calmer, but it is not comfortable to watch. With each mask, the character becomes more animated and more daring on the line, swinging it further and impressively suspending in an inverted cruciform that shows Alice’s skill and experience. Ultimately the masks seem to take control of the wearer, leaving her exhausted by their strength. It is a powerful end to the work, but jarred slightly in terms of the very strong cultural references that seemed at odds with the fairly neutral placing of the previous scenes. However in a work that deals with delusion and confusion, it is sometimes easier not to question the reasons and just follow Alice down the rabbit hole.