30 September 2006

Evermind

MELBOURNE FRINGE 2006
Evermind
Circus Catharsis
29 September 2006
Festival Hub, Lithuaniun Club, Main Theatre


At the end of Evermind the Frankensteinish monster joyously declares that he is “acceptable”. When dealing with a classic tale of regret and redemption, the character needs to aim for more. Circus Catharsis should also aim a lot higher. Evermind is acceptable, but could so easily be much more.
The three performers are recent NICA graduates and exceptionally skilled and versatile circus artists. Their strength, manipulation and clowning skills are ready for any professional circus troupe. Inspired by Frankenstein, their story has some original and comic twists. What Evermind lacks is a sense of theatre and story telling.

Evermind is described as narrative circus, which is “kind of like a musical except there are circus acts instead of songs”. Musicals work because the songs tell the story and express emotion. While the use of circus acts within their text was inventive (the foot juggling to create an electrical vortex was fabulous), it failed to express the emotion of the characters and stopped the momentum of the story.

Evermind has the potential to be unique and arresting, but needs direction to make it cohesive, atmospheric and narratively satisfying. Design alone would bring the show to a new level. Use lighting to create the darkness of the text and hide the effort behind the tricks. The card tables for the juggling props do not create a sinister mood. The live music supports the action, but the musician sitting at keyboard becomes a distraction.

I saw the preview performance of Evermind. If they adapt and learn from the preview it could be a very different show by the end of the run. If you want to support local circus and see some very talented physical performers, Evermind may be for you. If you want to see a tight piece of theatre that explores a well know story, there are many other shows in the Fringe.

This review originally appeared on AussieTheatre.com.

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