Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Art of Performance by Carla B

Picture of Smoke & Mirrors taken at Sydney Festival Opening Night 2010


There is something about seeing things live. The action moves right before your eyes, there is no real opportunity to say “It’s only special effects” and you tend to always walk out impressed and believing that you could be just as good as any of the performers if only you sang better/danced more/went to the gym and learnt to bend your body the same way.

The theatre brings in those disillusioned with Hollywood and spits out people disillusioned with culture shock.

Vanessa and I went to see Smoke & Mirrors over the weekend and this proved to be one of those experiences. My description of it to people have included musical-cross-cabaret-cross-circus-cross-magic act. The most interesting part of the show is the fact there is no real plot, but rather a common connection of people who either cannot quite place themselves or are disguised by making themselves a place.

The ringleader of this circus is the wonderful Iota, whom I first got to see in The Rocky Horror Show a few years back. As dynamic as ever, whenever he is on stage, he engulfs it. The audience hangs onto every word to come from him and trust him, despite his unpredictability. His voice is dynamite (probably coming from the fact before he found his place in theatre, he was a musician) and something truly special.

He introduces us to an array of characters – the depressed acrobat, the arrogant muscle men, the knowledgeable magician, the romantic bearded lady and the lonesome man. Most of the characters do what they do best, sharing their emotions with the audience and their inner-most desires or rather just showing that they are damn good at what they do.

In short, this show is a great one. The music, the performance, the atmosphere are all fantastic – proof that theatre rarely does wrong.

And, as I continuously whispered to Vanessa, I will say it again now:

That magician does some really cool tricks…but how?!?

1 comment:

  1. Carla, I love how well you described this - I think you captured the mood perfectly.

    .....but how!?