Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Button, May 30, 2013 ***

Button by Carole Patullo & Jane Bayly
La Mama Courthouse, May 29 to June 16, 2013
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Button is cute as a button.

This review is not published in Herald Sun. KH
Button, devised and performed by Carole Patullo and Jane Bayly, is an engaging and lyrical piece with a peculiar way of being both charming and portentous, simultaneously attracting and repelling an audience with its oddball characters and their surprising behaviours.
 Carole Patullo and Jane Bayly

Directed simply and stylishly by Melanie Beddie, Button’s disparate elements are woven together by a thread of narrative about the burgeoning friendship between two single, middle-aged women who live in adjoining homes and meet over a jar of buttons.

Button’s distinctive non-naturalistic, verbal, visual and physical style combines poetic language that captures the minutiae of the characters’ individual observations about their surroundings, with a deliberately heightened delivery style, an abstracted narrative and stylised movement.

The two women are totally different personalities and their stories and mannerisms are both funny and poignant.

Patullo plays an eccentric, isolated, obsessive and – let’s be honest ­ – hilariously weird woman who collects buttons, and whose moods swing from relentless cheerfulness to sudden, unnerving but fleeting outbursts of rage.

Bayly’s character, although more connected to the real world, suffers loneliness, anxiety and isolation since the departure or death of her partner, and both muse on the idiosyncrasies of life and the disappointments of ageing and becoming invisible.

Peter Farnan’s live music subtly underscores the relationship, providing another layer to the emotional landscape of these two dysfunctional creatures, and the pulsating, metronome-like tone beats out the swiftly passing time of their lives.

Scattered amongst the dialogue are quirky little songs that gently probe the human condition, with the pair pondering such notions as, “If no one cares, I’m not here”, “The things I haven’t done yet”, and “I’m not dead yet”.

Button really is cute as a button.

By Kate Herbert

Button is part of 2013 VCE Drama Playlist

"It’s just a little disc. A useful, beautiful thing... it holds us together. Two women live alone but side by side. One day they meet over a jar of buttons and an awkward friendship begins... An intimate show with a wonderful balance of light and dark, humour and contemplation, plus fantastic live music and songs." 
Media Release - Button
Devised and performed by Carole Patullo and Jane Bayly
Dramaturgy and direction by Melanie Beddie
Live music and sound design by Peter Farnan
Lighting design by Katie Sfetkidis
Choreography by Luke George
Design by Melanie Liertz
Chairs: Daniele Poidomani
Magic Consultant: Alex de la Rambelje
Photograph by Deryk McAlpin - Proof
Image Design by Robin Griffiths - Dazzle Creative

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