Tuesday, 18 May 2004

Spacemunki by Jean-Paul Hussey , MAy 18, 2004

Spacemunki by Jean-Paul Hussey 
by The Amazing Business
 The Store Room 18 to 30 May, 2004
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Jean-Paul Hussey sails very close to the edge of the sea of lunacy in his second monkey play, Spacemunki.

Hussey is a compelling performer who manages to balance impeccably a torrent of poetic language, a bevy of eccentric characters and physical story telling.

He peoples the stage with a parade of personages. Throughout, he is the narrator, our guide through the maze that is Hussey's whirlpool of astro-science.

He shifts effortlessly between the German inventor of the Spacemunki, the astronaut's pregnant wife, her peculiar doctor and Albert, the American space program director.

And there are more.

An impressive visual media design (Dean McInerney) projected onto white screens accompanies the marvellous antics of Hussey on the empty white stage.

Kelly Ryall's soundscape and Shane Grant's vivid lighting complete the cosmic atmospherics.

Spacemunki is a futuristic and satirical vision of what may come in the field of space exploration.

The Inventor creates the Gestalt Breast Plate that is worn by the poor, ordinary little man know as the Spacemunki as he rides the sun's path above the earth's atmosphere.

The vision is this: the Plate and even the very cells of the Spacemunki should absorb all possible information from the sun.

This will then allow humans to control information, space and the world in some undefined manner.

It feels like ramblings of a lunatic scientist and of science gone mad but is somehow not unbelievable given the advances in science we see today.

Hussey's energy and enthusiasm are phenomenal. He is like a dynamo with volts of electricity flashing through him.

 He is, indeed, the Spacemunki, generating sparks and currents as he flies between characters and spouts theories of the future.

His presence is clown-like and his comic timing is a delight.

This is not merely a rant or a joke fest. Hussey finds a poignant tone by the end of his solo performance.

 The program goes awry and he discovers the Harvest Fields of Potential Personalities in the heavens somewhere.

Spacemunki's wife goes into labour,a sonis born and, concurrently, two souls are swapped. Spacemunki is now the eternal child.

 Science has no answers for any of this but we lap it up. Spacemunki is a treat.

LOOK FOR: The interplay of visual and physical imagery.

By Kate Herbert

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