Malthouse Theatre and KAGE
9 September 2011
Merlyn Theatre, The Malthouse
to 18 September
"What lovelier hounour and influence could there be upon me than to see my work used in this way by an intelligent and prodigiously gifted new generation of artists. I think this is what's called a blessing."Michael Leunig wrote this about physical theatre company KAGE's production of Look Right Through Me, a collaborative development between Leunig, Kate Denborough (director) and dancers Craig Bary, Fiona Cameron, Timothy Ohl, Cain Thompson, Gerard Van Dyck and, youngest member of the ensemble, Oscar Wilson.
Leunig's images and optimistic pessimism is as ubiquitous to Melbourne as having an opinion about Collingwood. If there's a household in this city that doesn't have one of his cartoons have on the fridge or notice board, they must have only moved in a few days ago.
While far from a translation of Leunig's illustrated world, each scene was inspired by one of his cartoons or pieces of writing. What results is a dark world behind an imposing wire fence where the Leunig-like boat is junk, the familiar tree is bare, a rope transforms from noose to swing and playful dance can becomes violent fight.
But there are lanterns and friendly ducks to guide everyone from the darkness and it's ultimately a world where love, innocence and gentleness win; so much that the final images are almost twee in their fluffy gorgeousness.
Mr Curly may never dance so fluidly, but the beauty of Look Right Through Me is that something unexpected was created from artists excited and willing to discuss and discover a new world.
This review originally appeared on AussieTheatre.com.