Thursday, 16 December 2004

Box Set, Rawcus, Dec 16, 2004

Box Set  by Rawcus    
Theatreworks  16 & 17 December, 2004 only 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Dec 16, 2004

Box Set is a delightful collection of solo and duo pieces devised by Rawcus with seven guest directors.

Rawcus is an ensemble of actors with and without disabilities.

In the Box Set project, each member had the opportunity, over nine rehearsals, to pursue areas of their own interest, to explore different performance styles and to develop an intimate performance in a creative process. 

Each piece is a gem in its own way.

Royal Command Performance (director: Chris Kohn) is an absurdist piece featuring Raymond Drew and Dan Tobias.  One is a disembodied head sitting on a silver platter on a dining table arguing about the Queen and singing with his pal, the ukelele player.

Steve Ajzenburg and Kellyann Bentley perform Wonder Thing, (director: Mandy Pickett) a poignant and gentle movement piece based on Steve's story about his right arm which was disabled in a car accident.

Louie Riisik  (director: David Wells) relishes playing The Angry Old Woman who slopes around in her dressing gown and rollers, drinks too much, hates Christmas and rants about her son.

Three recorded songs create the foundation for Let's Dance, another movement piece (director: Ingrid Voodendt ) by Clem Baade and Nilgun Guven.  One effective element is the design composed totally of red helium balloons floating around them

Il Maestro Tonso ( director: Nick Papas) is an hilarious clown routine by John Tonso who parodies a smug musical soloist preparing to play Mozart on the trombone. His antics with a music stand, mobile phone and the trombone are very funny.

The master -servant relationship with Papas as Tonso's assistant is a highlight.

Twisted Sisters, the final piece, (director: Clare Bartholomew) features Rachel Edward and Kerryn Pe in a silent clown piece with a dark comic edge. One sister ( Edward) continues to attempt to kill her sister ( Pe) with poisoning, stabbing, strangling and finally, pushing her under a train.

The story is simple and very funny and the performances of Pe and Edward are a delight.

The collection of seven short works ranges in style from movement to clown , monologue and absurdism.

Rawcus created this charming show over nine Saturdays. Box Set is a tribute to the ensemble and the seven guest directors. It deserves  a longer season.

LOOK FOR: Il Maestro Tonso and the Twisted Sisters.

By Kate Herbert

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