Friday, March 9, 2012

Dream theatre

I just saw one of the best shows I've ever seen - clever, funny, dark, musical, and a little bit different.

(Photo from here)

1927's The Animals and Children took to the Streets was so good it's hard to even rave about it. The actors were perfect - I didn't even realise the woman playing a man was a woman, I just totally believed she was a tall, lanky man with Edward Scissorhands hair, until the curtain call when only three women appeared on stage. The different characters were so clear and the costume changes so quick I thought there were four people in the show. I think the Edward Scissorhands hair caretaker was my favourite character though.

The aesthetic was beautiful and creepy and storybook-like and reminiscent of a certain time period but also could be any time. The songs and live music worked perfectly. The animations and the way the actors interacted them was the best use of AV in a theatre show I've seen. It was such an integral part of the show, it felt like they had worked with it from the very beginning instead of adding it on later.

I really liked how dark the humour and the story was and how they didn't shy away from it - I was disappointed when they presented us with two options for the ending and it seemed that the audience had chosen 'Idealistic', I wanted to see how far they took the other option: 'Realistic'. Thankfully, they disregarded the audience's choice and brought the story to what I felt was its natural conclusion - it wasn't a show about happily ever after. It also really reminded me of the riots in London in August when I was there and made me think about young people in the 'dodgy' parts of cities and towns and various people's theories about why young people are often 'disengaged' and angry and their 'solutions' for them.

I didn't laugh out loud a lot, the humour was a more sustained, clever kind of humour. And I feel like they didn't take themselves to seriously, which made it so much easier to fall into the world of the show and their style.

Turns out it wasn't that hard to rave about after all.

(Photo from here)

On Monday night I was very lucky and got to see Circus Ronaldo's Circenses thanks to a spare ticket (Nova and I saw them setting up the Big Top last week). Circenses was amazing in a totally different way. It was a circus but it wasn't a circus and it was also so much more than a circus. The company has an amazing history - I loved seeing the different generations on stage together - and the performers are so multi-talented. The concept was great and I feel like Alex and I got it the best way around (which had nothing to do with us), because we were backstage first and then in the second half we got the 'on stage' show. The knife throwing woman had me pretty nervous backstage and on stage anyway.

So many great shows this year - I wish I could see more.

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