Thursday, 3 August 2017

You’re Not Alone, Aug 2, 2017 ****

Written & performed by Kim Noble, by In Between Time (UK)
in association with Soho Theatre

At Beckett Theatre, Malthouse, until Aug 13, 2017 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Aug 2, 2017 
This review also published in Herald Sun Arts online on Thurs Aug 3, 2017, and later in print. I'm still thinking and talking about this show, disturbing as it may be! KH
Kim Noble in You're Not Alone
You’re Not Alone by Kim Noble is a thought-provoking theatre documentary about loneliness and disconnection in the modern world cunningly disguised as an offensive show about risqué behaviour and anonymous, online, sexual liaisons.

Be warned! If you are offended by lurid imagery, explicit sexual behaviours, crude language or bodily functions, this show is your worst nightmare.

This is a visceral, provocative, audacious and profoundly unsettling work that straddles the boundaries between performance art, exhibitionism, social documentary and pornography.

Noble is alarming, repellent, confusing and grotesque while simultaneously being compelling, charming, generous, creative and challenging.

He is also a creepy stalker and a ‘catfish’ – catfishing involves falsely representing oneself online to seduce and dupe respondents into sexual liaisons – although a few of his online targets are horribly and hilariously shocked when they meet Noble in his weirdly unattractive, transvestite persona.

Noble presents his video material in a deadpan style resembling that of a newsreader and, although there is no overt parody, the entire piece is strangely parodic.

I spent the first half gaping open-mouthed at the outrageousness of Noble’s cheek (or is that ‘cheeks’?) and bold mischief-making, but the final 15 minutes poignantly clarify the true intent of You’re Not Alone. He made me cry.

Noble portrays a 21st century world in which people crave connection with another human but,, despite valiant efforts (e.g. resorting to online lunacy to connect), they remain isolated and desperately lonely.

He gently and politely invites an audience member to join him on stage – on opening night it was Geoff – then whispers instructions to the guest who obediently responds.

Through his complex videography, we meet Nobles’ neighbours, Keith the supermarket checkout guy, Noble’s ailing father, John the lorry driver, and a bevy of others, many of whom may never know that they are in this show.

You’re Not Alone may offend you, but it will certainly keep you talking about how we communicate – or do not communicate – in our soulless world. It’s a wild ride!

By Kate Herbert 

Co-direction - Gary Reich
Technical management- Miki Bekesi
Lighting design -Martin Lengthorne

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