Director's Cut | Searchlight Festival 2010It was a surreal evening at fortyfivedownstaris as an ‘ir/regular’ line up of performance artists took to the stage for Director’s Cut, part of the 2010 Searchlight Festival.

Drinks in hand, we braved the darkened theatre and were immediately ushered onto the stage. Jeff Stein, dressed in a glowing white suit released us to our seats by leaning in to whisper in our ear, his creepy personae staring us down as we headed for the safety of a chair.

Director’s Cut was like a stand-up night for performance artists, and these solo acts exploded out onto fortyfive’s brick-walled stage in a barrage of the bizarre. These acts defy explanation and avoid description, but are pure moments of live energy.

In The Corridor, David Wells experiments with how to tell stories using both his body and his mouth, accompanied by talented young accordionist Moses Carr. With excellent comedic timing, Wells recounts a trip home to see his mother and elevates the familiar through movement and gesture.

list (n­) performed by Kate Hunter, uses an innovative media design to examine our predilection for ‘to do’ lists. Recalling Yoko Ono’s books of instructions, Hunter directs her self through a series of imperatives to try and figure out how to create the perfect list, the one that will help us learn to live.

Sally Smith frequently appeared throughout the evening in her tribute to the grand dance divas of German old, The Dawning; A Retrospective (parts 1, 2 and 3). Swanning around the stage in her flowing gown and commanding us to breathe, Smith parodies high-art pretensions in this clever interpretive dance.

Ben Rogan intrigued us with his steady gaze and lovely singing voice and Carolyn Connors performed a high-pitched vocal exploration. Penny Baron had a buffoonish conversation using only quirky mannerisms to distort her hidden agenda.

Now in its second year, the Searchlight Festival was formed to celebrate and create a platform for independent artists and is dedicated to showcasing a broad range of performance styles, including works in development and short pieces. Co-produced by Tashmadada and fortyfivedownstairs, the Festival is an opportunity for artists across disciplines to get together and see one another in action. It also promises to be a unique theatrical experience for the audience.


Tashmadada and fortyfivedownstairs present
Searchlight Festival 2010

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Dates: 17 - 21 February, 2010
Full program details: www.searchlightfestival10.wordpress.com/programme
Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com | phone 03 9662 9966