Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Sunday, 20 October 2013
All That Is Wrong, Oct 19, 2013 ***
Written by Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert, by Ontroerend Goed Melbourne Festival Produced by Kopergietery/Drum Theatre
Plymouth/Richard Jordan Productions Fairfax
Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne, Oct 19 & 20, 2013 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars:*** Review also published by Herald Sun. KH
Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert
During All That Is Wrong, Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert
confronts a litany of uncontrollable, incomprehensible problems that surround
her: war, hunger, capitalism, fear, religion, sex, environment, and more.
If we allowed every awful event in the world to
penetrate our skin, the existential pain could be brutal and overwhelming – but
18-year old writer-performer, Ryckewaert (AKA Koba), pursues such discomfort during
The production highlights the internal,
psychological struggle of one young woman facing adulthood with trepidation,
trying to understand her place in the world and what she believes or values.
Armed with only white chalk, she fills an expanse
of blackboards on the floor with agitated, urgent scribblings, creating a
chilling mind-map of words, ideas and obsessions that fan out from the central
Although she speaks little, she reveals to us a
visual version of her identity, her relationship to her immediate environment
and the wider world, and her youthful search for meaning and understanding.
“I think too much – I don’t sleep well – Skinny –
Not anorexic”, she scrawls in shorthand about herself.
In contrast with its companion piece, Teenage
Riot, a noisy, chaotic show that externalises adolescent rebellion, All That Is
Wrong is a silent, reflective, ordered piece by the same director (Alexander
Devriendt) for Belgian company, Ontroerend Goed.
Koba’s act of writing is very public with plenty
of words, few of which are spoken because she communicates only indirectly with
the audience, focusing intensely on her internal dialogue as she literally
draws links on her chalkboards between issues such as multinationals, hunger
She speaks only to her onstage assistant (Zach
Hatch) who films her writing, makes suggestions, extends the blackboards, or
adds his own words.
In the recorded interviews that Zach plays to
stimulate Koba’s thoughts, we hear a range of speakers pontificate on market
forces, money and politics, or a torture victim relating his horrific
As Koba fills her boards, Zach’s camera projects
her words onto a screen until, finally, she hauls her board upright and words
start to tumble to the ground. Nothing is permanent.
The adolescent angst is palpable and Koba’s
burning need to fix at least one major, global problem is eating her up – I
wanted to shout, “Just help one person at a time.”
It will be a novelty for many audiences to
witness the creative process in flight, but it has limited dynamic range and
looks more like the development of an interesting show rather than the end
Performed by: Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert, and Zach Hatch