Brisbane Festival

Sue Benner Theatre, Metro Arts

7th September to 15th September 2013


Reviewed by Meredith McLean 




Aurelian is a show of many voices, voices that resonate deep from within the heart of one woman. In an ominous landscape that experiments with sound, light and real recordings of real people from the writer and director, Genevieve Trace’s, hometown of Ayr this production attempts to transport us through memories of loss.


As mentioned Aurelian is the brainchild of Genevieve Trace, a woman already known amongst theatregoers for her innovative constructions of theatre. Erica Field was the one-woman vessel that performed this show. And the AV Designer and Sound Designer, Robert Millett and Mike Willmett, must also get a mention for creating an incredible space.


The manipulation of lights and sounds as a connected creature was haunting and superb. The playfulness and tangible fear created with projectors, props and people sent chills through the audience. What was even more tantalizing for this performance was the real footage used. Recordings of people telling stories and memories, as well as film footage of these places long forgotten intensified the honesty of this production.


At times, the monologues did become a little contrite. Don’t be mistaken, the stories are wonderful because they are so real. Erica Field’s portrayal of these people was almost perfect. But there are times that in a way signpost on a turning of events when Erica would deliver a speech direct to the audience. One of those rambling, existential speeches that waffle on about nothing and bring cringes to the clichés. The line “I come from no place. But what even is place anyway?” is vague and bad enough on its own, but the fact it was repeated mercilessly throughout the show, was disappointing to the perfectly constructed ambience.


Regardless, this production has incurred many awards and accolades and has secured its spot in this year’s Brisbane Festival. It is one of the many strange and wonderful productions being showcased for this celebration of our beautiful and cultural city.


Though momentarily pompous at only a few intervals, this show is unsettling and unique. Exactly what a great play should achieve. The invocation of emotion is rife in this production, and will only be around for Brisbane Festival until September 15th so get in fast.


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