After All This


Brisbane Festival

After All This 

Directed by Marcel Dorney and Produced by Magictorch Productions

Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre

18th September – 22nd September

Reviewed by Matty Gharakhanian

After All

This piece was the winner of Best Ensemble and Best Director at the 2012 Victorian Green Room Awards and Best Performance at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival and it’s not too hard to see why.  Haven’t you ever wondered what happens after death?  Where do you go?  What does it all mean?  Does this mean that the journey through life is pointless?  After All This explores life and how the fascinating topic of the afterlife alters how we live and perceive the world.

There were three parts to the story.  Each facet of life and the afterlife was broken down into three sections and you were taken through different stages in life.  There were believably childlike conversations between siblings as they discussed meaningless things that are meaningful to them.  Or maybe they’re discussing meaningless and meaningful things in the same breath, tone and sense of importance behind each.  This show also explores accepting what is real and what isn’t, letting go and coming to the dramatic realisation of what matters and what doesn’t.

This show worked the space really well.  You were taken from place to place all around the powerhouse, travelling through long hallways and from stage to stage, with the actors to get to the next part of the production.  It was, essentially, a travelling show.  This as well as interacting with audience members added to the level of investment you, as a spectator, gave to the show.

“Is this really happening?”

This question is posed to the audience and you are left to ponder on this and many other questions and ideas brought up.  In fact, a lot of the show feels like a slew of philosophies and theories on the meaning and importance of life being thrown at you relentlessly and without mercy.

“You treat strangers like genetic relatives and relatives like enemies.”

Another statement to think on.  Why do humans give out random acts of kindness to people they don’t know?  The meaning of life and what comes after is a question and a topic that many people dwell on, so it’s not hard to feel entranced by this production.  You’re drawn in and want to know more.

Each performance is delivered earnestly and appropriately for the scene as each section of the show has a different feel or emotion from the previous.  Whether there’s deadpan deliveries or childish glee, each actor portrays the sentiment of the moment convincingly.  A beautiful acapella song also encapsulates the theme of the story and was the only musical piece for the entire creation.  Otherwise you were left to really take in what was being said and shown.



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