Review - When One Door Closes: an absorbing night out
Right: Unbelievable dexterity.
Below right: In full flight.
Images by Dylan Evans.
After show photos by Deanne Scott follow the review.
When One Door Closes
Created by Yaron Lifschitz and Libby McDonnell and the Circa ensemble
La Boite Theatre Company and Circa
Season: April 8-23. Bookings: www.laboite.com.au or (07) 3007 8600
If the opening show of the year is anything to go by La Boite patrons are in for an interesting year. When One Door Closes proved to be an absorbing night out.
This mix of story and circus acrobatics served up 85 minutes of pure entertainment for circus and theatre freaks
alike – and the cheering Roundhouse audience was filled with both. I’m a sucker for watching acrobats perform impossible feats in strength and timing and there was plenty of that from the Circa troupe of seven.
The premise of the show as per program was that a trio of dynamic women from works by Ibsen and Strindberg - Hedda Gabler, Nora from The Dolls House and Miss Julie – met in a parallel universe after their plays had ended.
The question what would happen?
I didn’t get the answer to this. It was a too academic approach for me. There was no dialogue, and a lot of abstract movement that did not interpret into a story. It was a bit like looking at a Jackson Pollock painting: it was brilliant, awe-inspiring, but inexplicable. You love it but are not sure why.
The difference between this production and an ordinary circus performance was the atmosphere that was created by the movement; there was fun and fear, love and hate and then breathtaking acrobatic stunts and precision work. It was marvellous to watch. The magnificent seven tumbled, jumped through hoops, hung from a trapeze, threw each other about, bounced hard on the stage floor, contorted, and generally created physical magic.
For the entire 85 minutes they made sure the audience had its eyes firmly fixed on the action on stage.
Jason Organ helped a lot with his atmospheric lighting and Oonagh Sherrard created a spine tingling musical score that contrasted cleverly with the lighter moods of pop songs
There were superb abstract performances from the girls, who wore identical wigs, make-up and costumes, and at times were in constant attack from the four males, so much so that sometimes it looked like scenes of domestic violence . But at other times the comedy was hilarious, particularly a scene where a mop-headed girl was used as a stage brush to clean up the mess that had been made. It was weird but funny.
This was a completely new experience for the Circa team and La Boite’s Artistic Director Todd McDonald and the performers confessed afterwards that in rehearsal there was a lot of improvisation and creative manoeuvring that proved totally stimulating.
It is a show I feel people can watch and analyse or simply enjoy as a spectacle.
Whatever the process, whatever the aim, it worked for me. I might not have got the full understanding of the intent, but I had a damn good time watching a group of elite athletes at work.
Jazzing it up at the party.
Toasting Muriel Watson, La Boite Life Member
Left: cast members Nathan Boyle and Bridie Hooper Below: With the Mzembe brothers Pacharo and Gideon.