10 December 2008
The Arts Centre, Fairfax Theatre
After a week of stewed tea and too much supermarket White Christmas, Short and Sweet Week Two is like a fresh espresso and a homemade chocolate ganache tart.
There’s a rumour floating around that the Independent Theatre section of Short and Sweet is going to be removed. NO! This week’s selection sent the program flying back up to inspiring, dizzying heights.
This selection of short plays was not about writers proving their vocab, but about using theatre to tell us wonderful tales. They filled the whole space with movement, dance, music, sound and design to tell their dramatic, intriguing and unique stories. Words are one of the greatest things ever invented, but theatre is not just about words.
After the Tower
The Town Bikes are always super-fab, and it would seem that they’ve found the ideal director in Maude Davey. From their arse-talking entry to the collapsing of the Rapunzel’s long hair, the Brothers Grimm would be thrilled to see such a delightfully-dark telling of this story.
The brothers G may well be dancing an after-life jig, because Company 13 were also inspired by a fairy tale - the one about Snow White and her mum. With pig noses, an accordion and song, this was a most original telling and interpretation.
The afterlife is always a very popular Short and Sweet theme. Itch Productions explored the celebrity death, with Marilyn Monroe visiting a nearly-famous actor who is “dying to be an icon”. Does he choose a posthumous Oscar or a sad career?
Telia Neville (interior theatre) continues her fascinating exploration of the everyday. Without words or sound, five characters repeat what looks like a meeting at a bar. As the audience find their own meaning in the repetition, words and sound are added to give us a better picture - but all we hear are their thoughts. Telling it from a different perspective makes the most mundane situation an irresistible tale.
Sexy and just a little bit morbid, Skite Vikingr tell a story of love, lust, desire and rejection that fluidly links performer and puppet.
6 Hours Later
Hilarious, engaging, beautiful - watching Born in a Taxi is as wonderful as watching a litter of excited kittens explore a new room.
Split Second’s murder, mystery and horror story started funny and got funnier. From the Shelley’s chatting after dinner to Dracula floating on skates - and all with live sound FX. Why use a digital file when you can have a bloke breaking plates and blowing bubbles in a glass.
Tea for Two
Dislocate’s story is black, funny and brilliant. From stillness to did-they-really-just-do-that acrobatics, this is the kind of theatre you can’t look away from.
Finding Your Place
The Hounds kept us laughing (so that’s how a dishwasher moves), but the telling wasn’t clear. Now I’ve read the program, I see that it’s about Alzheimer’s – which I didn’t get when I watching it. I thought it was about writers who love the safety of their own fiction.
Penelope Bartlau’s Barking Spider Visual Theatre wonderfully and literally construct a malleable universe. The two characters try to sort out their own relationship, while creating a small and messy parallel world from lumps of clay. This is great stuff.
This review originally appeard on AussieTheatre.com.