Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Momentum - WAAPA (29 August 2017)

The unexpected gem. There's at least one every year. A show you maybe don't know much about and have little or no expectaton for that turns out to be a theatrical treat. Momentum, a self devised piece by the 2nd year actors under the tutelage of visiting director Andy Paris, is such a production.

Based in the Moment Work technique this is the presentation of a collection of stories using movement, dance, lighting, props, costuming, audio and multi-media elements, utilising the whole of the Enright Studio space to support and enhance the text. These are the stories of the actors themselves, drawn from or inspired by their own personal experiences.

In its shape and construction Momentum is reminiscent of Love and Information, currently being performed by the 3rd years. However, there is an emotional authenticity and rawness here that is compelling in its honesty. The whole troupe have shared insights into pivotal moments in their lives and it's this vulnerability and generosity that makes Momentum a remarkable work.

Not so much Love and Information as Memory and Fears. Parents feature heavily in these memories, a combination of the traumatic, touching, and insightful. Fears are portrayed in relationships with parents, friends and possible lovers as well as touching on anxiety, bullying, suicide, domestic violence, identity, religion, and sexuality. That may sound 'heavy' but the creativity in the staging and the universal themes explored resonant deeply and keep this totally engaging.

There are also moments of humour including an hilarious 'guest star' appearance by Bobby De Niro himself and a little slapstick here and there.

Music is supplied by the divinely voiced Mia Morrissey on guitar as well as, wait for it, Duran Duran whose Hungry Like the Wolf I never thought I'd hear in a WAAPA production! Jessie Lancaster adds vocal support towards the end showcasing another fine voice.

This truly is an ensemble piece however I'd also like to recognise Teresa Moore's distinctive dancing throughout; Cameron Rouse's opening monologue that sets everything up and gives the actors 'permission' to own their stories and for the audience to embrace them; and the work of Sam Corlett who attacked his story about masculinity with complete fierceness.

The intimacy of the black box Enright Studio is perfect for this type of production and I'd highly recommend attending one of the last two nights this week.

*originally published at facebook.com/perththeatrereviews

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