10
Sep
12

FAST Festival: Here Goes Nothing – CRAVE – Leftovers (from a dream)

FAST Festival

Welcome to our newest theatre reviewer, the multi-talented and intrepid theatre-goer, Emilie Guillemain, who managed to divide her time over the weekend between the Brisbane Writers Festival and FAST Festival. Keep an eye out for more from Emilie during Brisbane Festival and don’t forget to comment if you like her posts or would like to add your POV!

Here Goes Nothing

Griffith University Drama

The Loft, QUT Kelvin Grove

07.09.12 & 09.09.12

Reviewed by Emilie Guillemain

Together we’ll climb into each other’s experiences and slow-dance each other’s secrets. One thing is certain: tonight you won’t be alone. We’ll be together. But you have to surrender part of yourself. Or at the very least – step forward and take my hand. Okay. You ready? Look alive. Let’s do this: here goes nothing.

Channelling the topics of choice, consequence and memory, Here Goes Nothing is a heart-warming play that reflects on the little delicacies of human interaction and connection. Over the course of 80 minutes the audience is faced with tales of love, loss, childhood, confessions and fears.

The show opens with a group of 15 performers dressed in bright and colourful party gear. Cling film is tightly wrapped around their bodies as they huddle together excitedly. As they begin to break free of the Glad Wrap, the audience is immediately addressed.

Who here likes the smell of freshly mown grass?

Who here is afraid of the ocean?

Who here has ever had their heart broken?

The play delves into a series of stories where questions like these are explored. Small and simple pleasures are discussed, along with the more pressing topics of personal fears and heartbreak. While none of the characters are introduced, no names are uttered, the audience learns about them through these series of intimate confessions.

Relying on a simple stage set up (a wall of multi-coloured streamers and 15 chairs) Here Goes Nothing really hones in on the interesting and quirky nature of the characters. The play combines music and dance effortlessly with fruitful dialogue and, as the scenes progress, the audience’s heart strings are tugged repeatedly. We revisit the ways in which we can be touched by love, but all too quickly, learn how it can turn sour.

As an insightful and stunning performance, Here Goes Nothing’s strength lies in its power to connect with the audience through their own experiences. The play explores the sense of touch both physically and emotionally in such a raw and delicate way that members of the audience find themselves laughing, crying, cringing, nodding and shaking their heads.

The final scene is something of true beauty. The characters strip down to their underwear, a soft tune is played as they move between person-to-person and slow dance. With the use of subtle lighting, their shadows create intimate silhouettes on the stage walls. There are gaps in between where some stand alone; the loneliness and distance is apparent in their expression but this doesn’t last as they are soon swept up by a passerby. These series of embraces gently lead into a song and dance number; the characters are alive and passionate. They sing and dance, laugh, scream, and thrash about as their energy electrifies the theatre space. It’s open, it’s real, it’s full of heart – a captivating performance that does nothing short of inspire.

Here Goes Nothing FAST FESTIVAL

Crave: A Takeaway Show

Opiate Productions, QUT

The Roundhouse

08.09.12

Reviewed by Emilie Guillemain

Our Lloyd’s Prayer

Our Lloyd, who art at the edge of existence

Blessed be thy food

Thy pilgrims come

They will be fed

At Lloyd’s as it is like no other

Give us this day our daily bread

And accept thy cravings

As we accept our cravings are against us

Lead us not into waste

But deliver us from hunger

For Lloyd’s is our deliverance

And the power

And the glory

For ever

And never

Amen.

Are you hungry?

Crave: A Takeaway Show delves into the subjects of hunger, desire and confession. It’s a ride through our deepest cravings and regrets, and the freedom that comes with releasing hidden truths.

Our Lloyd kneels centre stage, surrounded by a pillar of plastic bags. He is ready to serve, ready to quench the thirst and satiate the hunger. The stage is covered in plastic bags, some full of waste, and hanging from the ceiling. Lloyd is accompanied by excitable Jack and Jill, and Ocean – a curious character whose representation still remains a mystery. All 3 appear to be firm “believers” in the power of Lloyd and his ability to cure the suffering that comes with craving. They confess to their desires and in turn, encourage the audience to do the same.

What do you want to forget?

Upon entry into the theatre, audience members are asked to respond on numbered pieces of paper. The paper is then shared among the audience and during the play Lloyd calls out figures at random to confess. There was a break in the performance here where audience participation faltered.

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

As the characters’ confessions unfold, they are rewarded with chewing gum from a bubblegum dispenser that rests on Lloyd’s desk.

“Eat, eat into oblivion!”

Crave FAST FestivalThe bubblegum is a fantastic metaphor for how humans choose to satisfy hunger. It’s the incessant chewing that leads us into believing we’re eliminating the craving but by the time we rid ourselves of the gum, it leaves an emptiness and a greater hunger than before. This is brought to the audience’s attention as a cleaner steps onto the scene. He is well pissed off. There is rubbish everywhere but it’s the bubblegum that really grates on him – even after you remove it, it leaves a stain you can’t get rid of.

Crave: A Takeaway Show tackles some meaty issues within the space of 45 minutes. The philosophy of hunger and desire is embedded in the script, however; the rush of the performance hinders character development and results in a gap between the performers and their audience. In addressing the subject of hunger, I believe the audience was left with just that…a desire to discover more about the characters and gain a better understanding of what it really means to “confess”.

Leftovers (From A Dream)

Southbank Institute of Technology

The Loft, QUT Kelvin Grove                                                                                       

08.09.12

Reviewed by Emilie Guillemain

Leftovers (from a dream) FAST Festival

Leftovers (From A Dream) explores the hectic environment between the spaces of dreaming and reality. We’re welcomed into Finn’s story where he is faced with a recurring dream of meeting his father for the first time. They step towards each other, cautious but curious and embrace when Finn is pulled back to reality by his relentless alarm clock and girlfriend, Alba, calling his name.

The play opens with the characters standing with their backs against the wall, a violin and acoustic guitar compliment their breathing. The energy quickly shifts, the dialogue is fast-paced, blended with live music and stylised movement. Sexual undertones are present as the characters briefly touch on the topic of the wet dream, before the scene quickly flicks back to Finn’s recurring dream of meeting his father – a cringe-worthy, yet evidently humorous moment. During the performance the spotlight shifts from Finn to the three other characters – two versions of Alba (real vs dream) and a “Dreamologist”. They share details of dreams they’ve had but as the show progresses, the lines between reality and the dream world begin to blur. Tension between Finn and Alba grows as Alba’s interference in Finn’s desire to meet his father begins to leak into his dreams. The couple attend therapy sessions with the Dreamologist, which provides a touch of humour to the show, as he communicates all of his advice through song.

Due to the fast-paced nature of the play and the dipping in and out of reality, the performance did lose me from time to time. The strength in the performers’ characters and vocality was something that quickly brought me back to focus. I was interested by the idea that dreams are almost seen as a form of escape or at times, an opportunity to chase our desires. But in the end we often become entrapped by them or they take on a different form to what we had initially envisaged.

Finn’s lack of control becomes more apparent as the play progresses, as Alba continues to push and question his desire to meet with his father. She is overcome by jealousy and Finn’s fight to keep her out of his dreams wears thin, building friction between the three as they meet within the dream. The play investigates the themes of fatherhood, control, relationships and the dream vs reality. Leftovers is an interesting look at the power or the lack of, that we have in both worlds.

 

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1 Response to “FAST Festival: Here Goes Nothing – CRAVE – Leftovers (from a dream)”



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