ALICE NIGHT: Culture, how could you?
Judith Wright Centre
Judith Wright Centre Performance Space
April 29 2016
Reviewed by Katy Cotter
Firstly, I have to mention how beautiful and transformative the performance space at the Judith Wright Centre is. I have seen many a show at this venue and each time I have walked into a completely different world.
Now, I admit I hadn’t heard of singer songwriter Alice Night before so I listened to her songs online and was instantly whisked back to a point in my life dominated by the chaos of first love. Night’s lyrics are bleeding-heart-on-the-sleeve raw and brutally honest. Her performance slash debut album launch Culture How Could You? is a glimpse into her mind; tangled musings about society, politics and cultural oddities. Night was joined onstage by an extraordinary team of musicians, sound and visual designers, singers and performers, and all of them breathed as one.
The audience was invited on a journey through sound and song back to the innocence of childhood, back through the history and the woes of humanity, and catapulted back to our current world that is over stimulated by the media and consumerism, reeling with pain and desperately searching for meaning, for hope. Yes, these are huge ideas to comprehend but the performance is so perfectly balanced that these ideas zip through the air like shooting stars, careful not to linger too long and overwhelm.
Composer Robert Davidson’s arrangements are exceptional; flawlessly linking one moment to the next, though there is no doubt the heart of the show is Alice Night and her tantalising haunting and primal voice. She doesn’t just sing the words, you can tell that she’s lived them, and that she carries them deep within her. She has this ethereal power; her eyes connected with everyone in the audience as if she were whispering secrets.
Night is currently studying a masters degree in writing for performance at NIDA and her philosophical formula is ART + HONESTY = ALCHEMY.