This wonderful theatrical piece of mime and mayhem is enchanting. Possibly devised by Wolfe Bowart for children of younger years it is a special delight for children over thirty. In fact while the younger ones in the audience were for the most part mesmerised the older ones were in stitches.
Mime is one of the most magical of the performing arts. In mime you can take an audience anywhere you wish at the drop of a hat or anything else you might care to let fall and Bowart is a master of his craft.
There is a lot of Cirque du Soleil in this joyous production, possibly understandably as Bowart studied with Denis Lacombe of that illustrious performing group along with others.
It is the craft that Chaplin popularised and Bowart is a worthy exponent.
Here he is the lighthouse keeper of the orb in the sky that very early on sputters and goes out leaving lovers without their time honoured illumination and the tides without their guide. From then on we are treated to the gambols of this irreverent clown in his attempts to get it relit.
It is an athletic performance as mime perforce must be even if it is just a matter of standing still. Agility and timing is everything. The comedy never stops and the audience is engaged from the first threat of mouthwash being dumped on some unsuspecting patron to the final farewell.
The plot abounds in a myriad of symbols heaped much as his suitcases are, one on top of the other until you are not sure how to balance them all. Predicable is not a word that finds its way into any part of this story as stools take wings, paper bags pop brooms and ribbons are disgorged in endless measure and the stuffed rabbit does what rabbits are required to do, multiply endlessly.
Bowart interacts with his audience at every possible opportunity whether in the running gag of his innocent infatuation with some fortunate woman in the front row to the stains of ‘I Just Wanna be Loved by You’ to the recital of ‘Piece for Ukulele and … wind instrument’. Never has the woopee cushion been so embraced nor his adventitious co star had such fun playing them.
As with all such celebrations however there are moments of rare insight as the chicken tries to press the right button on its toaster bride or when Bowart leaves himself asleep while he explores the inside of the balloon as a surrogate for his lunar landing.
Finally in an inspired piece of deftly choreographed interaction with himself on screen he discovers how to exchange the real with the imaginary. He reignites the burnt out orb but not before the theatre has come strangely alive with moon balloons bouncing around the auditorium provoking near pandemonium.
Through it all however Bowart is the master of ceremonies and there is never a lapse, not a stray move. Every breath, it seems, is within the control of a clear and very precise physicalised expression of a magical imagination.
In this piece more than most the delight is in the distraction from the task at hand, the journey and its infinite number of byways is everything. While his audience may occasionally be reminded that it is the moon that is the subject of this wayward reverie they discover on more than one occasion that they are as much the object of interest for this keeper of the night. He is determined that all his charges will be recharged before he retires from the stage.
Well, Mr Bowart, thanks to you we were.
The season at the Seymour gathers pace from the resounding success of the darkly moving ‘The Hatpin’ it follows with this delightfully boisterous and at time quite wistful comedic romp through a realm outside both time and space.
Andrew McKinnon Presentations and the Seymour Centre proudly present
by Wolfe Bowart
Venue: Everest Theatre | Seymour Centre (cnr Cleveland Street and City Road, Chippendale)
Dates: 11 – 26 April 2008
Half Moon Performance Full Moon Evening Show
Suitable for children 5-10 years Suitable for families
15,16,21,22 10.30am 11,12,17,18,19,23,24,26 8pm
15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24 1pm 12,19,26 April 2pm
*Adults $24; Concession $16 *Adults $45; Concession $38
*booking fees may apply
Bookings: (02) 9351 7940 | www.seymourcentre.com.au | www.ticketek.com.au
More info: www.LaLaLuna.com