Tag: Dislocate

Dislocate Presents IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK…?

First there’s good circus, then great circus – and then this

By Myron My

When you move into a house, you can’t help but be filled with the excitement of new beginnings as you begin to unpack boxes and find new places for your belongings, but what about the people who lived there before us? Not only the ones that have just left, but the ones that lived there ten years ago and twenty years ago? What memories have they left behind? Presented by Dislocate, If These Walls Could Talk…? shows the stories of these past inhabitants over six decades, through circus, performance and imagination.

If These Walls Could Talk

The four performers – Geoff Dunstan, Kate Fryer, DJ Garner and Luke Taylor – have the difficult task of not only performing circus acts that will entertain the audience but also convincingly remaining in character and showing their emotional journey in short periods of time. The first story, set in the 60s, show a loving elderly couple (Fryer and Dunstan) who decide together to take their own lives. As they reminisce over their younger years together, the acrobatics they perform are seen as visual representation of the emotions they are feeling. The closing moment is beautifully executed as the stage fades to black on the couple for one last time. And so the stories continue, showing the various inhabitants’ dealings with life, death and moving on.

The last story evokes a powerful mixture of emotions as we see a man (Dunstan) attempting various methods of suicide only to have them thwarted by some otherworldly force. When he attempts to jump out the window, the window slams shut on his face. When he attempts to hang himself by the door, the door gives way and releases the rope. Despite the clear theme of suicide, there is a delicate and thoughtful blend of humour throughout this piece, and the show as a whole. The finale is wonderfully wrought with the past residents spinning around the man on a trapeze as photographs fall from the ceiling of all the people who have lived there before.

The set changeover between the decades is comically done and highly creative, as the ensemble put their clowning skills to excellent use. The set, composition and costumes by Michael Baxter, Chris Lewis and Harriet Oxley respectively are perfectly themed to the eras. I particularly loved the 70s disco tunes of a gay relationship and the 80s pink jumpsuit donned by Fryer. Eduard Ingles’ lighting design is also utilised effectively, most memorably in the 80s domestic violence afterlife sequence.

Good circus is obvious when the tricks are good, the audience is interested and there are a few gasps, but great circus is when there is a story we can follow and we become emotionally invested in the characters we see. If These Walls Could Talk…? goes beyond even that, and creates a poignant reminder that while we should embrace life and all there is to it, we should not forget the ones that have come before us.

If These Walls Could Talk…? was performed at Gasworks Arts Park on 20-21 June 2016.

REVIEW: Circus Oz Presents CURIOSITY

Delightful kids theatre

By Narelle Wood

Curiosity performed by acrobatic group Dislocate, is a charming theatrical journey in to a land beyond the bottom of the toy box. Alex is an adventurer and very curious, which means we meet lots of interesting characters along the way.

Curiosity Image by Rob Blackburn

Alex is in trouble, preferring to use her brother’s skateboard for a mode of transportation rather than clean up her mess. Unfortunately for Alex she gets into more trouble trying to explain that she is cleaning up, and this is where the slapstick theatrics begin. Once Alex discovers the new and colourful land she finds herself climbing, tumbling and twisting her way through the land of Curiosity.

The acrobatics are very cool; my three-year old nephew was transfixed by all the chairs, ladders and tossing people in the air. The biggest winners for Darragh though were the acrobatic ribbons (this was met with very enthusiastic applause) and what he describes as the ‘sad monster robot’ who was playing hide and seek on stilts. Many of the older kids found themselves interacting with Alex and helping her through her adventures.

The show is very cleverly written; I found myself laughing at jokes and watching the performance in just as much amazement as the kids. And like many good kids show Alex learns a lot about herself along the way, like how to solve problems and be respectful.

The set and prop use was impressive. There was never too much happening on stage and the performance made smart use of the space, including several scenes towards the ceiling and scene that found itself at the back of the theatre.

Curiosity is a simple and enchanting story that is sure to enthrall and entertain young and old. I highly recommend, a lovely way to spend an hour with some little ones.

Venue: The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston St, Collingwood
Season: 17-24 October Wed-Fri 10.30am & 2.30pm Sat 10.30am & 12.30pm
Tickets: Full $18 Children four and under free
Bookings: themelba.eventbrite.com.au

Image by Rob Blackburn