28 August 2010

Review: Pin Drop

Pin Drop
Tamara Saulwick and Arts House
28 August 2010
North Melbourne Town Hall
to 29 August

Pin Drop makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and might leave you scared of the dark.

Tamara Saulwick (Strange Fruit, Born in a Taxi) recorded conversations about physical threat and fear. Working with sound designer Peter Knight, choreographer Michelle Heaven and lighting designer Ben Cobahm, she's created a remarkable relationship between the real stories, the theatrical telling and the gut-felt reactions of the audience.

The narrative is chosen moments from the stories, told by the original recordings merged with Saulwick's voice and Butoh-inspired movement. The stories include an actor receiving a threatening phone call after an audience member foud her address in the phone book, a child being chased by an adult and a woman getting up in the night to go to the toilet and seeing someone trying to get in her balcony door. There's no need for fiction, as there is nothing more fascinating or frightening than a story about someone just like us.

Each story brings a visceral sensation of fear or threat, which could be viewed safely from the audience, but is heightened by a sound and lighting design that leave the audience in the dark with footsteps approaching, or trying to make out shapes and sounds on the stage.

I don't get to everything at Arts House (which is managed by the Melbourne City Council), but I try because the artistic team curate a program that consistently presents the most challenging and fascinating contemporary art from all over the world and supports local artists, like Saulwick,  to develop personal and challenging work. Seasons are short, so there's no time to wait for opinion.

Pin Drop finishes tomorrow (Sunday), so there's still a chance to see it.

And please check out the Arts House wonderful Green Tix for Nix offer. Use a planet-friendly mode of transport to get to a show and be rewarded with free ticket.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

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