Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Neideck

21
Feb
16

심청 Shimchong: Daughter Overboard!

 

심청 <Shimchong>: Daughter Overboard!

Brisbane Powerhouse & Motherboard Productions

Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre

February 18 – 23 2016

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

Most Koreans can recite Shimchong’s tale… Her mother died in childbirth, her father is blind, and she sacrifices herself to the Dragon King – the god under the sea – in order to restore her father’s sight. But what if Shimchong was reborn in Australia, a young woman burning with revolutionary desire? What would drive her to jump into the sea a second time?

In this dark, political, and often hilarious retelling, you’re invited to drink and sing along as contemporary pop music, pansori, and physical theatre combine in an event that is as uniquely Australian as it is Korean.

The development and presentation of 심청 ⟨Shimchong⟩: Daughter Overboard! has been supported through funding by the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Queensland, Korea Foundation and Brisbane Powerhouse. This project was also supported by HotHouse Theatre’s Month in The Country residency program, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries and Queensland Theatre Company.

“Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren’t all so tangible and sayable as people would have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space where no word has ever entered , and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beyond our small, transitory life.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

BPH_Shimchong_2016_1-1180x663

Meanwhile, as 심청 <Shimchong>: Daughter Overboard! is happening…

Latest update from Asylum Seeker Resource Centre ASRC:

Mum & ‪#‎babyasha‬ still safely at ‪#‎LadyCilento‬ Hospital

AMA president has sternly warned against removal

Queensland Health understand no removal tonight

Thank you to the brave staff at #ladycilento for defying a government to protect a baby

To All the amazing local Brisbane people who stood tall to protect #babyasha

Everyone who sent us hundreds of pizzas (we’ve enough, 100 on the way to homeless shelter and also emergency staff at Lady Cilento).

Vigil will continue 24/7 until Turnbull guarantees #babyasha will not be moved.

Tonight was a landmark night, our nation is changing. It’s heart and conscience has awoken.

In solidarity Kon ASRC CEO

‪#‎letthemstay‬

letthemstay_sbs

The political comes through in the personal.

심청 <Shimchong>: Daughter Overboard! is a magical, mythical, traditional Korean folk tale skewed by a forced political agenda to suit the current Australian climate. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Jeremy Neideck’s new work for Motherboard Productions and Brisbane Powerhouse WTF16 boasts some beautiful moments, cleverly incorporating pansori, physical theatre, puppetry and shadow play, each element adding rich texture to the tradition of theatrical storytelling. Jellyfish lanterns transport us to somewhere deep beneath the surface of the ocean and a length of silk brings to life the Dragon King at the height of his power. When Shimchong plunges into the ocean it’s a shadow puppet we see sinking behind a water wall. (Production Design Josh McIntosh & Lighting Design David Walters). The image, combined with a haunting underscore played live on stage, is affecting and seems to set the tone of the piece… These are poignant moments; the essence of the show – and perhaps the initial, carefully construed approach to it – delicately wrapped up in each. 

But what happened over a lengthy generous creative development period or two? At times the ritualistic components are almost jarring, cut short, losing impact because of the juxtaposition against more conversational scenes, more dramatic scenes (misplaced musical theatre scenes) that feel over written, over zealous and over worked.

The reality is that there isn’t “one nation” that makes up Australia, only competing notions of “nationhood”. There is the cosmopolitan, educated nation of the inner cities and the parochial, anxious communities of the urban fringes and the bush. Asylum seeker rights are easily understood and supported by cosmopolitan Australians. We are well-travelled, we are not suspicious of multiculturalism and we are confident of processing and adjusting to change. At the same time, we rubbish their McMansions while gentrification makes the inner city unaffordable, and we castigate them for their cashed-up lack of generosity while it is in fact their kids mixing with the children of refugees.

– Christos Tsiolkas, The Monthly

With nothing implied but instead, shouted in righteous fashion, we feel beaten with headlines; political rhetoric from which I recoil in real life. Do I need to have it drummed into me at the theatre too? Does somebody think we’re not listening? (Are those who are not listening going to see this show?). Much of the script is superfluous, repeating and repeating upon itself, reiterating what we already know to be the tragic truth about our government’s intolerance for the desperate people seeking refuge in our country. It’s a necessary message, absolutely vital – I believe the future of the country (the future of the world) depends on our compassion – and if something, anything, moves us to action, to sign and share petitions and attend rallies and vigils, to light candles with our children, to make rooms available and to vote for change, then the message has been effectively delivered. But in delivering the message so earnestly, without any subtlety and without offering real reason for empathy (parody and comedy outweigh the human elements here), we lose the inspiration, the motivation. The call to action goes largely unheard because we’ve already tuned out while wondering, when will we hear some more gorgeous pansori? And, why do we need a redundant, distracting, disastrous EKKA scene? 

There needs to be an alternative to settling people here that reaches beyond welfare and the ghetto. We are an island nation and we are not going to have open borders. That means there should be obligations and responsibilities that asylum seekers will have to take on if they arrive outside the auspices of the UN; that is, those who come here by boat. Might that be working to build infrastructure for five or seven years in remote areas, the way my father paid for his passage here? Is it being settled in rural Australia, to work in hospitals and on farms where there are labour shortages? I don’t know. I am not a politician or a social planner but I think those are precisely the conversations we should be having. In forgoing a humane and economically viable way of dealing with asylum seekers, we have squandered opportunities.

– Christos Tsiokas, The Monthly

letthemstay_scotiamonkivitch

How is it possible to leave the Visy without feeling moved to tears? To not care about the drowning, dying, forgotten people who come seeking safety? The evocative imagery, the voices, the story, the beautiful tragedy, it all becomes lost in “the mess” (an unfortunately accurate term for Executive Producer Dave Sleswick to use on opening night), of making something so ancient “relevant” to a contemporary Australian audience. Like the phase our film industry went through (is still going through), making sure we see in several shots per film, a jar of Vegemite on the kitchen table and a Hills Hoist in the backyard, <Shimchong> is trying too hard to contextualise and get us on side. We already know where we are. We are already on side. (If you’re not don’t tell me, please. I don’t need to know you that about you). The authenticity is in the original story and the heartfelt telling of it, the political in the personal.

Do we need to contextualise so much for contemporary audiences? Or do we need to trust them a little more?

Neideck is an astonishing talent, having worked for many years to acquire perhaps the deepest knowledge of some of the most effective cross-cultural storytelling techniques in this country’s brief theatrical history. Now I want to see that knowledge, those techniques and traditions, applied via a more discerning filter, combined without the chaos. Also worth noting is that Neideck’s choreographic touch is missing from this show, and I personally miss the beauty of his own bewitching dance ability. Imagine if Neideck had played the Dragon King?! The moving, mixing, bilingual ensemble is fluid and fantastic, but imagine… Instead, Neideck is kept busy providing the soundtrack for the show.

A company needs to play to its strengths. No one can be all things to everyone and regardless of what this company may consider to be their strongest areas, from an audience perspective the strengths here include the wealth of cross-cultural creative talent, the boldness in the conceptual stages early in the creative process, the ability to secure support for the development of each project, and in performance terms, the Korean inspired movement, the music, the language…all the ritualistic elements of theatrical storytelling. The chaos has worked better for them in the past, with the long-running, hugely successful 지하 Underground (WTF14). And we were immersed in the rich beauty and classical elegance of the more traditional Korean elements in 대홍수 Deluge (Brisbane Festival 2014). <Shimchong> is somehow the middle ground and clearly, a necessary step in the creative journey that Motherboard Productions is on.  

<Shimchong> needs an un-development phase. It needs…devolving. With less paint, fewer brush strokes and a smaller canvas, 심청 <Shimchong>: Daughter Overboard! might be more engaging and challenging, more deeply and persuasively thought provoking, inspiring us to take action, communicating its vital message in a way that is beautiful, heartfelt and haunting, affecting and truly unforgettable.

shimchong

letthemstay_result

24
Sep
14

대홍수 Deluge

brisbanefestival2014

deluge_header

 

대홍수 Deluge

Brisbane Festival, Motherboard Productions & Brisbane Powerhouse

Brisbane Powerhouse

September 18 – 20 2014

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward 

 

Deluge. Anything that overwhelms.

 

We are all naked in the face of grief…

Director, Jeremy Neideck

 

 

Deluge Preview from Motherboard Productions on Vimeo.

 

During Brisbane Writers Festival, I was delighted to speak with Morris Gleitzman, mostly about tea. Not only a renowned author, he’s what you might call a tea connoisseur, quietly, humbly possessing vast knowledge on many varieties of tea, and the many ways in which humans have enjoyed tea for centuries. I’ve come to realise that tea expertise impresses me immensely and if you can talk about it, and make it well, you are a prince (or princess) amongst men (or women).

 

In our household tea is very special, even sacred (I quit coffee a couple of years ago); the drinking of tea is not to be rushed or denied. Our tea “ceremonies” enable a level of conversation and connection that we just don’t discover over any other shared beverage. Tea is the first and final thing we share each day, and it links events, friends and colleagues in between.
Considering my appreciation for a good cuppa, I delighted in the notion of a tea ceremony to open the show. During this time the house lights stay up and we watch as members of the company take tea orders from the audience. Black? Green? Milk? Sugar? They are relaxed, in no rush at all, waiting patiently to take turns to pour the water to make the tea from a towering urn centre stage, which sits in pride of place on a kitchen hutch. It’s not what Raymond Mao would do but it sets the scene and serves to focus our attention on the performers’ focus, kindness and control of the elements. A deceptively simple soundscape (Sound Designer Dane Alexander) and the alternating pace of the performers’ movements remind me of the imagery and viewing experience of Baraka. Although the slow-mo sets the pace of the show and establishes its ritual, which continues in the following moving water vessels sequence, what starts out as a quirky, gentle, delightful opening sequence feels, after 20 minutes, too long, even for me.

 

Other segments of the show feel indulgent for little gain or effect. Without a narrative – everything is symbolic – at times we’re left floundering (though no less fascinated or impressed by the movement itself), like the flotsam and jetsam along the shoreline. I try to go with the flow, to take in as much as possible on an experiential level. Despite its strengths Deluge is presented in an extended form that some may be reluctant to sit through again. This is unfortunate (or is it?) for the development of the piece, which might just need a new pair of eyes on it. Ultimately, despite some moments that are forever etched in my memory, this version of the show is one that is less mesmerising than it should be.

 

BPH_Brisbane_Festival_Deluge_10_2014-1180x663

 

The production’s strength lies in its design and ritualistic choreographic elements. The action happens in and around a semi-circle of pylons, rising up out of swirling mist like some structure’s ruined foundations at the edge of Brisbane River. Having waded through waist-deep, stinking black mud to get to Drift in the aftermath of the 2011 floods, and knowing there was a similar clean up required at Brisbane Powerhouse (and everywhere else), this picture alone elicits strong feelings. It’s the bold work of Sarah Winter, the head and heart behind A Dinner With Gravity, a rare production of pure magic, which has never left me. Here too, Winter creates a dramatic, quite magical scene out of very little. A fantastic final segment, the climax of the piece, utilises the majesty of the simple set, immense lengths of white fabric (and, are they plastic bags?), and the power of Neideck’s physical and vocal performance especially, to striking effect. Before that though, an extended trance sequence builds and builds, the performers shivering, trembling, and eventually leaping up and down on the spot, Maasai Warrior style, possessed by some dark spirit or inherent longing. They suddenly stop, and one by one disappear, drowned, beneath a shimmering green light, a body of laser brilliance that engulfs each figure. The audience gasps, collectively; the movement and music and flood of emotion has quietened all at once. This moment is why we gather together to experience live theatre. (It represents the way we come together after a natural disaster, in one breath, the same realisation, all at once). The award-winning lighting, surely, by David Walters, the stuff of illegal substance enhanced dreams, is easily his best work to date.

 

Another moment brings us Whirling Dervish sema bliss. Or is it grief even still? It’s mostly grief explored in this production – sorrow, despair and some hope. The sort of hope we hope a hot cuppa will bring.

 

Both female and male performers wear simple yet sumptuous layered, gathered skirts, which swirl and billow around the dancers just like Seven Angels Jasmin Lychee blossoms dance around our big glass teapot. Below a leather waistband cum waspie and above bare feet, the fabric swishes and swings around each performer beautifully, conjuring images of western women working new, harsh land and doing their washing in shallow creeks and rivers, in their entirely unsuitable, beautiful European garb (Costume Designers Kiara Bulley & Bianca Bulley. Originating Costume Design Noni Harrison). Most of the movement achieved draws on Korean traditional dance, most of the vocal work taken from Korean opera, leading us from the beauty and wonder of daydreams by a gentle stream, to the devastation of a stormy, horror story nightmare that is any deluge, or deluge of emotion.

 

Han is a word that is widely held to be untranslatable…it is sometimes described as a dark shadow, or a deep-set knot of sorrow that passes between generations and oscillates in that place between despair and hope. Han is presented as the voice of the pansori singer, and in the body of the traditional dancer. It is precipitated and released in endless cycles that require time for meditation and contemplation as well as cathartic outpourings of emotion.

 

Some would say this brand of art is self-indulgent, but I would say maybe the artists are still in denial about what the audience wants. Or needs. There’s a fine line between sharing ritual and respect for cultural traditions, and selling us a style and a story so that we desire more of it. Neideck has little intention, as far as I can tell, of making anything more commercial, but perhaps it’s time to consider entertainment value. It might not take much – it’s already a beautiful work of art. But for whom is the art being made? Why? Why in this country? Neideck is not only a master of the art form, but also, of knowledge and skill sharing, and nurturing the relationships between artists in Australia and Korea. There must be ways to gently bring this work, and work like it to a wider audience; to help bring all of the challenging cross-cultural collaborative work to an even bigger, newer audience, and not just continue to attract the connoisseurs.

 

Deluge has come a long way since its original work-in-progress showing in 2011 (Red Moon Rising & FreeRange Metro Arts), and it probably has something of an eternal life, or more accurately, multiple lives, should Neideck feel the need to stay so close to its themes. It should be cherished, like the oldest Puerh, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change and benefit from new infusions to be enjoyed by all. I think the beauty and strange power of Deluge in any of its forms is enough to stay with even the most impatient theatregoers, so let’s hope it finds its way across the sea, continues to evolve, and comes back to us on the tide someday.

 

In 2014 Deluge features Hoyoung Tak, Younghee Park, Youngho Kwon, Katrina Cornwell, Sammie Williams, Amy Wollstein & Jeremy Neideck.

 

In 2011 Deluge featured Tak Hoyoung, Mark Hill, Younghee Park, Mary Eggleston, Kat Henry, Ellen Rijs, Jung Minji & Amy Wollstein.

 

Forest – Deluge (2011) from Red Moon Rising on Vimeo.

24
Feb
14

지하 Underground WTF14

 

WTF 2014 Brisbane Powerhouse

 

February 13 – 23 2014

 

지하 Underground (Australia/South Korea)

Motherboard Productions

Brisbane Powerhouse

Turbine Studio

February 12 – 16 2014

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

Follow your curiosity to 지하 Underground, a pop-up Korean speakeasy bursting with live music and magical storytelling.

 

Drink the night away with the bar’s eccentric proprietor as his ragtag crew of musicians unfold a timeless tale of love that transcends culture, language, and gender. Created by Jeremy Neideck and Nathan Stoneham alongside an international team, this strange and beautiful travelling tavern returns to Brisbane after sell-out seasons in 2011 and 2012.

 

Post-show, 지하 Underground‘s bar stays open, bursting with performances by special friends and lovers.

 

괴짜 사장님과 밤새도록 술잔을 기울이는 동안 , 바 종업원들로 구성된 오합지졸 밴드가 만들어내는 멋진 선율 속에 문화와 언어와 성性을 초월한 사랑 이야기가 펼쳐 집니다.

 

제레미 나이덱, 네이슨 스톤햄,그들과 한 팀을 이룬 국제적 공연자들에 의해 창작된 이 신비하고 아름다운 이동식 선술집은 2011년 2012년 전회 매진을 기록하고, 드디어 여러분들 곁으로 다시 찾아 옵니다!

 

공연 후, 지하 Underground 바(Bar)에서는 특별한 친구들과 연인들의 특별한 공연들이 계속 이어 지며 바도 오픈되어 있습니다!

 

BPH_WTF_Underground_2_2014-1180x663

 

지하 Underground is so nearly a Brisbane institution that I’m surprised a) it’s taken me so long to see it and b) it doesn’t yet have a permanent home somewhere. This is a show that has been evolving since 2011 and to be honest, I guess if it had a permanent home it might just lose a little of its magic, because the whole notion of “pop-up”, whether it’s in retail or the theatre, is a magical idea in itself.

 

It’s a theatrical experience completely unlike any other – part play, part musical, part karaoke – and a completely convincing unique brand of storytelling, which entices, embraces, and invites us after each show to stay and dance with the company and their special guests as part of an up-late program of awesome performers, including Michelle Zen and the Neon and Polytoxic.

 

2012undergrund_145-FenLan-Chuang-1200x675

 

It’s the kind of place where everyone greets you, you grab a drink from the bar, settle comfortably, have a great time and find it reeeally difficult to leave, and even more difficult to resist coming back for a second visit. We feel right at home in the unfamiliar surrounds (well, for me, having never been to Korea) of a cute and cluttered speakeasy, crossing paths with the most interesting people, and sharing the quirky space and the queer love story created by Jeremy Neideck and Nathan Stoneham.

 

Told in English and Korean, it’s not your typically commercially touted tale, and embedded within an original musical soundtrack there are just as many lighter, lovelier moments as there are dark, devastating and confronting segments, both musically and theatrically. A fine balance is created by multi-skilled storytellers/performers who have a special gift for finding the rhythm of the piece, individually and as a tight-knit ensemble, without appearing to look for it at all. The writing and direction allow the story to unfold as naturally as if we were all friends up for a big night out together…and we actually feel as if we are. The voices are raw, real and fantastic, and everybody picks up a musical instrument or two. A special surprise performance from vocalist and guitarist random audience member, Henry, sets the relaxed tone of the evening before the pace picks up with a game of fish tank BINGO to decide which of the 지하 Underground bar staff will play which characters in the story they retell each night. Highly energised and hilarious sequences, such as the Coconut Princess (Neideck) racing from one end of the space to the other, through the audience several times to climb up onto an exercise bike on top of a cabinet while singing, smiling, and remembering each time to pick up his suitcase of stuff, are juxtaposed against strange and beautifully mellow moments of memory and quiet contemplation.

 

2012undergrund_14-FenLan-Chuang-1200x675

 

지하 Underground is such a strong piece, and it stands out at this festival for being truly original, challenging AND entertaining.

 

As such 지하 Underground has developed a cult following since its inception. I genuinely expect it to run forever, in some capacity, all over the world! It’s a new kind of crazy-genius cross-cultural collaborative creative gem that has real heart and soul (and watermelon and sparkle and disco!). It works on the heart and the head, and on the soul, and I’m going to find it really hard to let it go; its characters and their stories will stay with me, like a dream that I can’t get back to, long after the music and the sparkles have gone.

 

 

 

14
Sep
12

지하 Underground

 Brisbane Festival

지하

Underground  

Motherboard Productions

Storage Container, Absoe Business Equipment car park, West End 

Tuesday 11th – Saturday 29th September 2012

  

Reviewed by Matty Gharakhanian

 

호기심이 이끄는 데로 따라오다 보면, 당신은 어느새 브리즈번의 잊혀진 구석에 자리잡은 한국의 바(Bar)지하 언더그라운드를 만나게 될 것입니다.

사장님과 주거니 받거니 술잔을 기울이다 보면, 바 종업원들로 구성된 오합지졸 밴드가 만들어내는 멋진 선율 속에 국경과 문화, 언어와 성性을 초월한 사랑 이야기가 펼쳐 집니다.

라이브 음악과 마법 같은 스토리 텔링이 뒤섞인 이 찰나의 세계는 연출가 제레미 나이덱의 상상으로 출발하여 마더보드 프로덕션이 선 보입니다.

잠시 여러분 자신을 이 세계에로 초대하신다면, 매 시간이 행복한 시간이 될 것입니다. 공연 후에는 여러 특별 게스트들과 함께 모든 이에게 열린 ‘바 Bar’로 완벽하게 탈바꿈하게 됩니다.

Let your curiosity guide you to 지하 Underground, a pop-up Korean speakeasy that has taken root in a forgotten corner of Brisbane.

Prepare to drink the night away with the venue’s eccentric proprietor, as a tale of love transcending culture, language and gender unfolds to rhythms created by his staff, a ragtag crew of musicians.

Every hour is happy hour as you allow yourself to indulge in a mix of live music and magical storytelling amidst a transitory world written by Jeremy Neideck and Nathan Stoneham and presented by Motherboard Productions.

Post-performance, the space transforms into a fully functioning bar for the public with a variety of special guests.

 

Underground Motherboard Productions

Underground. Motherboard Productions. Image by Matty Gharakhanian.

 

Upon entering through black curtains, you feel like you’ve entered into another world.  A world you’ve never been before.  You’re given a hearty greeting as you enter the room.  Various pictures, ornaments, mismatching chairs and even more mismatching colours fill your field of vision.  The stage is a modestly low-set wooden crate with a quaint, vintage feel to the place.  Blow-up palm trees are strewn about by the speakers and small, wooden fish trinkets and other crafted sea critters dangle from the fishnet-laden ceiling.  The style is eclectic and colourful and you start to get a feel for what the show will be like.  The vibe is set for the night.

Underground is a tale of love, regardless of culture, language or gender.  This Korean and English show – directed and written by Jeremy Neideck and co-written by Nathan Stoneham – incorporates live music, dance and storytelling to take you on a glorious adventure with the Coconut Princess through love and discovery.

Before the show even begins, there is pre-show entertainment with songs and drinks to keep the spirits of the room high. To get everyone interested, the performers ask for audience participation and before you know it, the energy in the room is electric.  Your heart is racing and everyone’s clapping along and cheering.  The show itself starts off much like a cheesy games show.  I was half expecting to see Larry Emdur from The Price Is Right to pop out at any moment.

 

 

But don’t let this fool you.  There is more to this show than first meets the eye.

Underground is an absolute riot.  From the get go, there isn’t a single moment of rest from the enthusiastic and honest performances.  It’s the kind of show that will have you laughing almost non-stop while still managing to maintain story.  There were highly inventive uses of props to create each scene and setting and with just the tiniest touch or addition to the stage, we are taken to the next part of the production.

The songs are, for lack of a better word, outstanding.  These live-performed songs add to the storyline as the lyrics and music weave in and out of the show.

After briefly chatting to the producer, Dave Sleswick of Motherboard Productions, I found out the music was original and the finale musical number – possibly the best of the show – was something they had been particularly working on for quite some time.  And it shows.  The whole production is quite evidently a labour of love and the music worthy of its own album, which will be made available soon, thanks to the support for the project, raised via pozible.com

Because of the energy and enthusiasm of the performers (Tak Hoyoung, Park Younghee, Lee Chunnam, Thom Browning, Jeremy Neideck, Nathan Stoneham and Abe Mitchell) you can’t help but smile the whole time.  You also soon discover that the entire room is their stage as they sing, dance and act their way through the audience.  Various parts of the performance are set up throughout the room so you can’t help but feel immersed and in the thick of the action for much of the show.

Underground is running throughout Brisbane Festival and is not a production to be missed.  If you enjoy a good laugh and a good time, go see it immediately.

\

Underground Motherboard Productions

Nathan Stoneham & Younghee Park. Image by Gerwyn Davies.

01
Jul
11

Deluge

Because I can’t possibly get to everything, I have a little team of reviewers heading off to see all sorts of exciting, interesting productions. They are an enormous help, both to XS and to briztix.com (where you can read Alys Gwillim’s review of Deluge, Josh Matthew’s review of Gaijin and Sharon Grimley’s review of Paul Capsis, among others). Here is Red Moon Rising’s Deluge

Reviewed by Caity Sanderson

I was lucky enough to see this newly developed performance at Metro Arts on Tuesday night.

A deluge can refer to a downpour, a flood. That’s exactly what I felt throughout it- a surge of emotions portrayed beautifully through song and dance. Director, Jeremy Neideck, created a simple but exquisite performance using Korean performers as well as Australians. Together they created a piece so moving, it took my breath away.

The connection and deep relationship both Koreans and Australians have with water was the starting point for the production. This gave the performance a really raw edge to it, and the fact that only two weeks was allowed for rehearsal made it truly remarkable to watch. I loved the way the actors connected with each other, and let us get a glimpse at the emotion behind their faces, behind the blue paint- I wanted to know exactly what they were thinking.

I suppose this is where it was a bit disjointed for me, personally. I would have appreciated a bit more help in understanding the plot. Maybe it didn’t have a particular narrative? Well, at least it made me think! Another thing that let the performance down a bit were the musicians who stood awkwardly to the side of the stage. They took the focus away from the stunning costumes that our actors wore, and left it feeling a little too casual.

On the other hand, the musicians really added another layer to the performance, the raw, clean feeling that Deluge is all about. They were creative with their instruments, and the simplicity of tapping, humming and scratching complemented the actors perfectly. The two singers, one Korean, and the other Australian were the absolute highlight. When they sang together at the climax of the performance, it sent shivers down my spine, and I could tell I wasn’t the only one!

It is a rare occasion that I get so completely engrossed in a performance with no dialogue what so ever. The music, the dance and the pure emotion in their bodies had a great balance; they each gave the performance energy, without overpowering it. This was supported with the props- the bell, the bucket. So simple, so beautiful…

Looking out of the window in the Whitlam Studio, the sleeping city was a stark contrast to the almost hysterical feeling that surrounded Deluge.

The movement was brought together by powerful technique. In some places the timing was off, but that comes with time, I suppose; a fortnight isn’t long to get timing impeccable. I did enjoy the ungainliness of the dances. It reminded me that I wasn’t at a dance concert, but part of an evolving story.

The audience felt part of the story, as we were in such a confined space, and the performers came so close I could hear their breathing! It gave us the chance to see the emotion in their eyes, especially when the performance was hitting its peak. We saw the struggle that is hard to understand otherwise. It grabbed my attention and left me thinking for hours afterwards.

Overall, Deluge was a stunning performance that certainly made me think. I loved the fact that it was so raw, like we were seeing the creative process developing in the director’s mind. The musicians didn’t really seem to be part of the story, however, I loved how our two singers complimented each other’s voices- it was beautiful. They were so different, yet so connected during the final song, which was a brilliant way to end the performance. It left us wanting more, more!

The lighting, the instruments, the actors and the musicians successfully brought together this delightfully thought-provoking piece and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.