Left - Rob McCredie, Lucy Farmer and Fiona Bryant. Cover - Rob McCredie. Photos - Kristyna E Hessova
Welcome to the Monkey House.
The flatmates all seem a bit off-kilter in Now With Feeling Pt.III, as Fiona Bryant, Lucy Farmer and Rob McCredie share the small stage in this wonky display of carnality and co-habitation.
In La Mama’s intimate theatre space, standing in for the share house living room, Now With Feeling Pt. III resounds with grief and passion. Movements are tense and heated, generating an atmosphere of apprehension. Danelle Lee devised this physical performance along with the cast, having also created parts 1 & 2 as part of her VCA Masters Diploma in Choreography. There are a lot of ideas and emotions at work, not all of them clear. Plates are smashed, cupcakes served, and bizarre poetry occurs; but among these inexplicable events some tender moments emerge.
Setting the action in a flat gives the audience a recognizable way into the world of the play. I can empathize with Spartan living conditions, and really enjoyed McCredie’s imaginary tour of his house as each room grew more and more fantastic than the last. Our trio has to tread the communal-living balance between giving each other space and meeting up to tell bad jokes. These interactions are intriguing to watch and punctuated by visceral dance sequences that showcase each performers’ physical stamina. Bryant in particular is amazingly feral in her wild solos, and my favourite moment was her unbridled pas de deux with McCredie. While Farmer lip-synched a torch song, the two flung themselves against one another to stage a campy reunion with amazing agility – their limbs coming startling close to hitting the heads of their spectators.
Now With Feeling Pt.III is littered with lighting cues that flip our attention around the room, perhaps in an attempt to clarify the ellipses betweens scenes. As it is such a small playing space I thought it was unnecessary to divide the stage into so many lighting zones as this effect was really distracting. We should be able to follow the tempo of the piece without this aide, and honing the performance further could solve any confusion between transitions.
While we may not always understand where Now With Feeling Pt.III is leading us, it is an adventurous and physical production that maintains a sense of humour even through its heartbreak. Between midnight snacks and private tantrums, the performers confess their love to the audience, searching for someone to reciprocate. Ultimately we can all share in the familiar feeling of being lonely, even while surrounded by other people.
La Mama presents
Now with Feeling (Part III)
Choreographed and directed by Danelle Lee in collaboration with, and performed by Fiona Bryant, Rob McCredie and Lucy Farmer
Venue: La Mama, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Dates: February 17 – February 28, 2010
Times: Weds & Suns at 6.30pm, Thurs to Sats at 8.00pm
Duration: 60 minutes approx.
Tickets: $25 / $12 (conc.)
Bookings: 9347 6142 | www.lamama.com.au