Review by Fury
If Captured Whispers were running again, I would attend as many times as possible as there was so much in each performance that I’m sure I missed 90% of what was going on.
Andy Jackson’s work was to do with the loss of his father and the exploration of selfhood. With a tiny, puppet version of himself perched on a suitcase, he read about his father. What stuck with me was the longing in the poem – particularly for touch and embrace.
One of my most loved aspects of puppetry is being able to play with scale and pushing how far the audience will forgive the surrealism of a piece. Jackson’s work particularly hit the mark in the moments when there was a gaze held between Jackson and the puppet. It was as though he were looking at himself; as though he were his father and the puppet, him or perhaps as though he was in a mirrored hallway and he become recursive.
I really liked Terence Jaensch’s poem worked with Eliza Jane Gilchrist. Upon entering the venue, the audience was given a small package with the poem on the back and told not to open it. During the performance, the poem was read three times. Once, quickly. Then, we were instructed to open the package and inside was the poem performance was through several items – a Rochester blot eye mask, some alphabet pasta, an emergency landing card with the phrase “I’m trying to lift love, I am trying”, and a bent plastic spoon.
Call me old fashioned* but bribery always pleases me. I very much liked the poetry party bag. I think the main selling point for this piece, however, was the overwhelm of emotion on the third reading. Jaensch explained that he was an orphan and the closest person he had to a mother had died a couple of days before the launch of the book that included this poem. As such, the poem is permanently entwined with that grief and it was really intense to experience that in the final reading.
Barry Dickens and Rod Primrose worked a p
Review by Fury
“I don’t do assimilation, I do adaptation”
In Aristophanes’ The Frogs, the god Dionysus goes down into the underworld to bring back the poet Euripides. On his way there, Dionysus meets the far older Aeschylus who claims that of him and Euripides, he is the better poet and as such he should be brought back to the land of the living.
Both segments of Outer Urban Project’s Poetic License cleverly mimics the difference between Euripides and Aeschylus. Euripides is portrayed as a flashier, more “now” poet and Aeschylus is portrayed as one of ‘the greats’.
For the opening, Divine Favour were the Euripides representatives wowing the audience with truly masterful harmonies influenced by Gospel and Hip Hop. The Outer Urban Projects string quartet was the Aeschylus, playing a wide range of very familiar classical music with phenomenal skill. Contrary to the plot of The Frogs, neither was lorded over the other as the opening performances finishing on pieces that married both their styles.
In the second portion of the performance it was mentioned, more than once, that it, itself, was not a play. I think it’s fair, then, to talk about the performance as though it were a chorus. Lacking any set, Greek plays used choruses in conjunction with two main characters to set the scene, enact the various minor parts and comment on the two characters – often to make jokes at their expense.
Poetic License’s chorus was interesting in that it was enjoyably haphazard. My date commented that it made no efforts towards a cohesive plot line – which is somewhat to be expected with a devised reimagining of the Greek play – but instead focused on transitioning and giving weight to each voice and each story within it. The broad spread of age and experiences were discussed comically and seriously. Kominos spoke from the equivalent of a pulpit, merging tone and style with content to make comment on Christianit