Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Look Right Through Me, Sep 13, 2011

Look Right Through Me, Malthouse  *** 1/2
  • Kate Herbert
  • September 13, 2011 12:00AM
LOOK RIGHT THROUGH ME, by KAGE Theatre, at Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse, until Sep18, 2011

LOOK Right Through Me, a physical theatre show inspired by Michael Leunigs cartoons, echoes his whimsy and despair, but does not use his cartoon style or feature Leunigs particular character, Mr Curly.
Kate Denborough's production creates a visceral, dark, non-specific world of physicality and dance populated by anonymous, urban characters wandering haplessly amongst the detritus of a neglectful city.
They seem imprisoned behind a cyclone wire fence, forced to face fears and dreams, friends or foes in emotional or physical confrontations that leave them wounded, elated or exhausted.

The five dancers (Craig Bary, Fiona Cameron, Timothy Ohl, Cain Thomas, Gerard Van Dyck) are fluid, muscular and intense in their physicality and characterisations, while Denborough's choreography channels the beauty and ugliness, isolation and camaraderie expressed in Leunigs work.
A choreographed, scrappy fight between four men epitomises male violence; lovers slide effortlessly over each others bodies; a woman rescues a man then carries him to bathe in an abandoned rowing boat.
Other vignettes are lighter: the playful, circus scene; a man lying on a tree branch while strumming a ukulele; a child observing from a tree, crunching on an apple or valiantly puffing air to keep a feather aloft.
The child, dressed exactly like the man, watches his future unfold, making more poignant the signposts announcing Leunigs existential messages: Dreams will be thrown away; the life you lead; the life you could have led.
The abandoned rubbish dump design (Julie Renton), murky lighting (Rachel Burke) and eerie, sometimes invasive sound (Jethro Woodward) enhance the grim beauty of this production.
Star rating: *** 1/2

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