Photo – Sean Young
Christine Johnston, Lisa O'Neill and Peter Nelson are at it again on the stage of Brisbane's Powerhouse doing what they do when they collaborate at their weird, wonderful and wacky best. The performance is RRamp and it's eclectic performance served straight up.
Christine Johnston is the collector, her house is full of collections and jars. She's sharing her collections, stories and memories with the help of her band O'Neill and Nelson, and the animated art of Ahmarnya Price. Lisa O'Neill is the archivist and dancer come drummer while Peter Nelson is the electrocrat and the man mixing it up on his synthetiser.
This dark and sharp piece is visually and aurally beguiling and assaulting all at once. Johnston's famous brand of droll and dry humour features as do her amazing vocals. Like the long lost sister of Morticia Addams she stands centre stage to reveal the bleak and tender heart behind her collections, her life. The stories of how her world and collections came to be, like the tan skin peel in one of her jars collected after a sun, baby oil filled moment in the 70's. There is the tragic tale of true love between two hens and a rooster shared with the audience through heavy rock riffs, spoken word and sung prose. The henhouse romance is framed by the electronic infusions of Nelson, the mesmerising movement and dance work of O'Neill and the edgy visual art of Price. Doing your tax and looking at your receipts this year won't be the same after you've witnessed O'Neill's percussive and electrifying interpretive dance that accompanies Johnston's deeply poetical exploration of figures pumped out to Nelson's pulsating dance beats.
RRamp is exciting and grotesque. It's hard, cold, and as jagged as broken glass; you'll be mildly grossed out and tickled by some of the black sentimentality. While it did lull at one point, this show will definitely seduce you with its blunt and stimulating use of varied performance art modes and its wicked sounds and stories. What impresses the most is this talented and tight performance (by all the cast and creatives) is bundled up and neatly packaged in one rich evening of edgy and deliciously absurd rock theatre.
Brisbane Powerhouse and Mobile States presents
The Collector, the Archivist and the Electrocrat
Venue: Powerhouse Theatre
Dates: Wed 25 – Sat 28 Jul 2012
Tickets: $28 – $20
Melbourne Season: Wednesday 5 - Saturday 8 September
Wednesday - Friday, 7.30pm
Saturday, 3pm and 7.30pm
Venue: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
Tickets: Full $25 / Concession $20
RRAMP season - book online
RRAMP Green Saturday Matinee - book online
or call 03 9322 3713