17 February 2011

Review: Invisible Atom

Invisible Atom
Full Tilt presents 2b theatre company's production
5 February 2011
Fairfax, the Arts Centre

Invisible Atom has toured widely since 2004 and had  its 100th performance in Melbourne, on the day when it rained a lot.  Canadian company 2b from Nova Scotia say that their work reflects the urban intellectual climate of their city with five universities, so it's no wonder that Atom was instantly at home in Melbourne in the Full Tilt program.

Atom (as in bomb, not apple) is at an apex; he has to fall. Looking as undistinguished as any suited office worker, he tells his story of the wealth, love and success that suited folk generally aspire to. When a bomb destroys his workplace, he explores his past to discover he's at the end of long line of bastards, that include Adam Smith and Issac Newton, and is given a way to regain success. He jumps at the chance and, of course, there's an unmeasurable moment until he plummets.

Anthony Black wrote and performs Atoms's tale,  developed with Christian Barry and Ann-Marie Kerr.  As a story about an over-educated wealthy man in a brown suit, he's not an instantly sympathetic character, as he talks about physics and economics with no doubt that we understand him. Yet, in a timeless box of light, he deftly draws us into his world and makes us hope that he makes one good decision and that search and fall will end happily.

Written and explored intellectually, 2b transform their process to a piece of theatre that almost transcends their process. It takes knowledge of Smith and Newton to understand the details, but anyone with a heart will understand the story and wish they could change the laws of physics to help Atom stay in his unmeasurable moment.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

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