In search of a vanishing point
By Myron My
As we take our seats for #howtodisappear, a voice-over and screen in front of us begin stating the terms and conditions of sitting in this show. We are asked to turn off our phones, but then the conditions delve further and further into issues of privacy and the voice-over begins to speed up at an almost inaudible pace.
Once the exhaustive list is finished, we are told if we disagree with any of these we have three seconds to leave the venue – otherwise we have just signed on the dotted line. This humor sets the tone for the rest of #howtodisappear.
The two performers, Patrick Considine and Christian Taylor, charm with their banter and interactions with us, as they playfully attempt to ‘one up’ each other on “The World’s Most Difficult Magic Trick”. The magic tricks were great to watch and there was much discussion with my friend as to how they could have been done afterwards.
Even though I enjoyed the show, I struggled to see any link between what was performed on stage and the description of the event. I felt I would be seeing something about technology and how nothing is private and everything about you is out there but instead, it was more or less about the magic tricks.
The other thing that puzzled me was being asked to provide the artists with our name and number so we could “fully experience the performance”. However, all that transpired was a single text message that just reiterated what the artists has asked us in person. Even the response I sent resulted in no further interaction with them, so I was confused as to its purpose.
I feel more work was needed on the ideas that Considine and Taylor were trying to convey with #howtodisappear. A clearer link between show description and performance, for example, was something required for audiences to more fully appreciate this work.
#Howtodisappear was presented by Fr!sk Festival at the Victorian College of the Arts as part of the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival.