Two Little Spiels: A Double Bill
We Could Live Here
Friday October 3 2008
There’s big glitzy shows at the Fringe hub, but don’t forget the little gems that are sparkling away in hidden corners of the city. Two Little Spiels is two shows in early stages of development: We Could Live Here, devised and performed by Bron Battern and Karina Smith, and A Preamble, devised and performed by Eva Johansen.
Both still have rough edges, but the shiny, glittery and diamond-hard cores of these works are clearly visible, and a tiny room above a Smith St cafe is the perfect place to see them.
No matter how much you rehearse, think and re-work a performance, theatre doesn’t live until it has an audience. Work in progress performances let artists discover where the connections are and what ideas should be developed.
Remarkably beautiful images emerge from the movement-based We Could Live Here. Battern and Smith use slowness, stillness and quiet to evoke memory and combine it with a slightly dark sense of humour that adds an almost bitter poignancy to the “tea with diamonds”. However, even though sadness and regret are delightfully contrasted with hope and imagination – I’m not sure if I was meant to walk away feeling hopeful or fearful about being a single, old woman.
Johansen is best known for her work with the wonderful kabaret troupe Caravan of Love. A Preamble is her first solo work, which she promises isn’t just about “women’s issues and post-coitalism”. An original balance of clown and ingénue, she effortlessly switches from slapstick routine to heat-breaking, room-silencing song. The contrast is sometimes contradictory, but the two sides will soon combine into a pretty amazing character, who will prove how it is possible to be sexy AND funny.
With such solid bases and obvious connections with their audiences, the next step for both shows should be external direction. To reach their full potential they need input from someone who doesn’t have the creators' personal attachment.
Be prepared for is quite a long break in between shows, but make sure you see both – and use it as an excuse for a piece of cake or a cocktail.
This review originally appeared on AussieThearte.com.