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.
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Piece For Person & Ghetto Blaster, Nov 11 2015 REVIEW ****
By Nicola Gunn & Sans Hotel
Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, until Sunday Nov 15,
2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: **** Full review also published in Herald Sun online on Friday Nov 13 and in print. KH
theatre is tantalising, entertaining, ridiculous and often bewildering in the
best possible way. Mad little thing!
marvellously eccentric, charming and mischievous performer has created yet
another stylish, inventive and startling work called Piece For Person and Ghetto Blaster. Yes, the ghetto
blaster is the other actor in the show.
performance is a collision of stylised movement with vivid, direct-to-audience
then restarts a story about a woman who is running by the water in Ghent,
Belgium, when she witnesses a man throwing stones at a sitting duck – I mean, a
real duck sitting on the water.
between her observations and memories of this simple narrative are snatches of
philosophical musings about peace and conflict, violence, morality, goodness
and human nature in general.
There are diversions
into the fictional Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot and his alter ego, David
Suchet, ironic comments about Gunn’s arty friends, acerbic allusions to a
famous, Yugoslavian performance artist and affectionate references to the doomed
lovers in the movie, Brief Encounter.
Gunn is in almost perpetual motion (Choreography by Jo Lloyd), the incongruity
of her movement often creating hilarity and moments of sharp irony or absurdity
as she writhes, cavorts or rages, her exertion making her slick with sweat.
her movement is Kelly Ryall’s evocative, subtle, electronic soundscape emitting
from the onstage, big, fat ghetto blaster.
point of view constantly, moving from the voice of the performer, Gunn, to the
anonymous woman (perhaps also Gunn?), to the stone-throwing man and his two,
She uses rhythmic transitions or
cunning shifts of tone and atmosphere to keep us bemused and amused.
She taunts the audience, tricks and
seduces us, lulls us into a sense of calm until her next outburst of rage about
good and bad or the unknown man and his contemptible stone throwing.
At one point she invades the audience,
climbing over us like a sassy cat, crawling on hands and knees over laps,
perching on seats, resting on people’s shoulders, pulsating and leaving a
Finally, in a mesmerising, technicolour
and unforgettable scene, Gunn inhabits the duck itself, with its cool, sensible,
simple view of the world as it sits quietly amidst an array of moving purple lights (Niklas
Pajanti) that take us into a hypnotic space.
surprises me and tickles my funny bone with every piece of theatre that she