Friday, May 11, 2012

REVIEW: House of Cards- Anywhere Theatre Festival - Turnstyle; Brisbane

alas I am now seeing a show or working every night next week so cannot
even see EVE ! :(

here is the review for House of Cards; you may prefer that the
description of Turnstyle is a part of an endnote perhaps.

House of Cards at Turnstyle

Turnstyle is a non-profit, community run space at 10 and 12 Laura
Street Highgate Hill. The Theatre Anywhere Festival uses everywhere
from city lanes to parks to showcase new theatre. House of Cards was
performed in a space that looks like a rumpus room with old books
lining bookshelves along the back walls. Behind the audience, who are
seated on couches, beanbags and a hodge potch of chairs is the quaint
garden and a maelstrom of bike frames and parts.

It's a fascinating place and it's good to be invited into such a place
with such a variety of activities going on during the week for this
sort of performance. One feels they are leaving the mainstream world
and entering into some sort of modern utopia. Is it an example of how
things could be if more people worked together with common community

This challenge to what is normal from the venue, disarmed the audience
just enough to open their minds up to what was about to transpire on
the makeshift stage. And this non-linear, journey through
relationships is as much about the experiences the audience brings to
it as the performers.

It's an ambitious project with Mikhala Hawken it's creator saying it,
"will leave audience members reflecting on the paths they have led and
the people who have touched their lives." Astoundingly, it actually
does just this! The style of the venue, the lighting which is
evocative of makeshift share house lamps and even the books on shelves
take you into some rememberances both of the characters and yourself.
House of Cards is the debut performance of Synestheatre.

Mikey Bailey sets the scene by laying out the cards and this
deliberateness seems to reverberate with his character who seeks
constant control. The serious and sometimes dark aspects of this
character are a long way from his usual roles as a physical comic. He
rose to the challenge delightfully in this more dramatic role, which
was informed by his physicality.

This piece is hypnotic and beautiful with the shadow play, film and
live elements working together almost seamlessly. The accurracy of
the choreography in the film to live transition was wonderful.

Mikhala Hawken and Benjamin Jackson move together fluidly with Bailey
menacing as a third presence. This piece of theatre and movement
really is a thrilling achievement as it draws the audience into their
own experiences, by allowing just the right amount of space in the
story to allow this.

Look out for the next piece by Synestheatre; it is bound to be a great
show too!

Nim Jayawardhana for Artshub in Brisbane


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