Photos – Sean Young
Chickens and lasers pepper the evening at Rramp, Christine Johnston’s latest offering with long time collaborators Lisa O’Neill and Peter Nelson. Subtitled The Collector, The Archivist and The Electrocrat, this trio form an electronica-dance-poetry outfit unlike any other.
Of Kransky Sisters fame, Johnston’s dry and rigid demeanor belies a deeply kooky interior world of tales from childhood imaginings in backyards of the 70’s.
Born of her desire to keep beloved items in jars, such as scabs and peeled-off tans, she formed the band Rramp with two unsuspecting strangers (O’Neill and Nelson) or so the story goes.
Each track is complimented by sweetly animated visuals produced by Jaxzyn, playing out the stories behind the songs. A standout track tells of their house full of figures; a babushka doll-esque account of the storage of tax receipts. This track, as with many others, featured the dance/movement stylings of Lisa O’Neill, a brilliant physical performer demonstrating the extreme precision and control of an expert in Suzuki actor training.
The pet chickens feature widely throughout the night in recollections of love lost, puddles and scabs, all captured in illustrated to fit the action. The aforementioned lasers are handheld, operated by Johnston during a dance solo by O’Neill. There are also small coloured bell solos from each of the characters.
Rramp is an acutely off-beat show and curiously engaging, like a slow motion Dali style car-crash. At 75 minutes long the ending does drag on somewhat, but the tunes are still catchy and the performers don’t lose their sense of feverish energy for a single moment. Ultimately a hilarious yet subtle performance from one of Australia’s kookiest physical comedy cohorts.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
The Collector, the Archivist & the Electrocrat
Venue: Space Theatre
Dates: 12 – 14 June, 2013
Tickets: $44.90 – $19.95