A show that thinks outside the square
By Myron My
In Cubehead, Michael Burke creates two characters, each with their own existential crisis. One is the eponymous extra-terrestrial Cubehead, and the second is… well, Michael Burke.
Burke fuses the stories of two very different beings as they search for something more to life than what’s just around them. The respective narratives were strong but the transitions between Cubehead and Burke’s tales were a little awkward.
Initially the device was quite humorous, but continually having a recording advising the audience when to open and close their eyes to allow Burke to prepare for the next scene forced us to come out of the experience and reminded us that we are watching a show.
The pre-recorded narration also posed an issue with pace and flow in Cubehead. At times, Burke would be standing on stage, waiting for the narration to be completed before continuing on with the show. Even though he would sometimes be waiting in character, it was very difficult as an audience member to remain engaged with the performance in this way.
However, there are some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout, and a good level of creativity (seeing what Burke can do with some old Nokias was a highlight).
Naturally, Burke seemed very relaxed and more comfortable when he was himself, especially when reminiscing about the ten-day silent ‘retreat’ he went on. The people he met there and things he experienced had us all intrigued and could easily have been a show on its own.
Cubehead is not a performance where the laughs are fast and loud: Burke is not jumping around being wildly animated and attention-seeking. He has a quiet persona on stage and it is ultimately his subtle and intelligent humour that wins the audience over. This is a gentle comedy show that will have you thinking (and surprised four times). Oh – and bring a Furby…
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St (entry via Carson Place)
Season: Until 19 May | 9:00pm, Sun 8:00pm
Tickets: $23 Full | $20 Conc