Saturday, 30 September 2000

Filch by Angus Cerini, Sept 30, 2000

at The Diggers, North Melbourne Town Hall until October 8, 10pm

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Filch is the fourth in a series of solo shows written and performed in vivid style by Angus Cerini.

Themes recur in Filch that were addressed in each of Cerini's previous projects: poverty, homelessness, disempowerment, urban decay, abuse, mental illness, male violence, political negligence and loneliness.

The form of the performance is now as important as the content. Cerini created this show with his mythical alter ego/director, Aardis von Vaarkenhausen.

He calls it "a physical extemporisation upon a brutal yet poetic spoken text." Cerini narrates the entire story as a voice over running throughout the performance.

On stage, Cerini presents the same story simultaneously, sometimes speaking or miming with the voice-over or physicalising, in an abstract form, the images of the narrative.

It is a fascinating style and a compelling performance from this multi-skilled artist. The entire showis accompnaied by evocative and unobtrusive recorded sound. (Darrell Jarrell , Dave Corbett)

There is a large serving of angst and existential pain in the tortured characters and poignant stories told in this piece.

The main voice is a homeless man, begging for a dollar so he can buy his frothy caffe latte from Julio's cafe. He wakes each day with a little patch of sun on his face to cheer him. He believes in love at first sight, falls for a tragic abused girl he calls Jenny.

He sees a street character called Monkey daily. He reads a story from the newspaper about an old man who is bitten by his own dog that, as a result, is put down.

There are scenes in a fetid gaol cell and there are memories of the main character as an 11 year old child who craves the company of his absent father.

The passion and commitment as well as the physical skill of this piece colour the stream of consciousness narration and make this a powerful 40 minutes in the Fringe Festival.

By Kate Herbert

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