The Great Spavaldos WTF14

WTF 2014 Brisbane Powerhouse


February 13 – 23 2014


The Great Spavaldos (UK)

By Sylvia Mercuriali & Simon Wilkinson for Il Pixel Rosso

Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre

February 11 -22 2014


Reviewed by Guy Frawley



The Great Spavaldos isn’t so much a piece of theatre to be witnessed as it is a fully immersive experience to be lived.



The Great Spavaldos

The creative team take your photo once you’ve been fitted with your goggles and just before you’re taken out to explore their virtual world. It doesn’t even begin to give justice to the fabulous weirdness of this show.


Hijacking four of the five senses, this event toys with with your sense of sight, touch, sound and smell to transport you into the dark underbelly of a 1940s circus troupe, leaving you disorientated and awed.


In the foyer of the Powerhouse you’re fitted with headphones and as the voice over begins you’re quickly pulled into the fantastical world of the eponymous Spavaldo brothers.



Before long however you realise you’re not exactly watching their story, you’re living their story, you become one half of this gravity defying, acrobatic duo.


Mere minutes after arriving at the theatre, flustered from a spot of rather bothersome city traffic and relieved I’d made it in time for my 6pm viewing, I was mounted on a trapeze and staring nervously at the floor that seemed to be at least 10 meters beneath me, suffice to say I’d well and truly forgotten everything else that had preoccupied me during the day. In reality my feet were likely only inches above the floor but there in that moment, perched atop the trapeze, rope gripped firmly in both hands with the sound of the audience cheering beneath me…well lets just say my acute fear of heights seemed very real, and logic be damned, the boys and girls from Il Pixel Rosso have hit the virtual reality nail right on the head.


With a pair of video goggles, a set of headphones and some delightfully creative staging, The Great Spavaldos is 25 minutes of immersive joy. This is the kind of experience that you walk out of and immediately want to tell all of your friends about, more than that, you want to drag them along to experience it for themselves; It’s just so freakin’ cool!


It’s tantalising to wonder about the other stories that could be told using such a method and I for one would love to see where else the creative team behind The Great Spavaldos take this concept. Hopefully their creative journey will bring them back to Brisbane sooner rather than later! You do however still have until the 22nd of February to catch this show and regardless of what your taste is in theatre I challenge you to experience this piece and to not walk out of the performance space with a massive grin on your face.


the great spavaldos – promo 1280×720 from il-pixel rosso on Vimeo.


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