Image – Ronny Wertlander
Renowned Belgian company Ontroerend Goed have lobbed two pieces at audiences during this years’ Melbourne Festival; Teenage Riot and All That Is Wrong. The latter is the focus here and is a powerful piece that mashes visual art, theatre and media together, while plastering the Fairfax theatre with a sobering mind map.
“Yesterday You Said Tomorrow"
Opening with a series of slide projections containing whimsical, profound and angry quotes (popular fodder for social media users worldwide), All That Is Wrong is primarily a journey behind the public face of performer Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert. Assisted by performer Zach Hatch, she schools the audience about her life, family, dreams and anxieties through the simple act of spelling it out. Literally. Scrawling it across the space with chalk and overhead projectors. It’s methodical, fascinating and sobering.
With limited text, the audience could have a preconceived idea about the piece will play out after five minutes in, and it does continue along a common thread for quite some time, but it’s not contrived or pious. It’s simple, and simplicity is the height of sophistication. The construction of the show builds from the floor, migrates to film and sound, to the walls and is then raised up, only to fall and diminish again. The arc is quite beautiful.
Is it new to know the anxieties of a teenager blossoming into adulthood? No. It’s known territory for all. The gravitas sits in the comparison of concerns of today, with those of one’s own past. It’s never not going to be personal.
Set in a black space, Director Alexander Devriendt has the guts of the process laid bare; overhead projectors, chalk, boards, laptop, cleaning bucket, film equipment. The actors use them as they need them. The design is functional and no frills, and melds perfectly with the action. Who needs more
All That Is Wrong is a gentle journey that packs a powerful punch. The limited season during the festival is a crying shame. Here’s hoping they’re back here again soon.
Melbourne Festival presents an Ontroerend Goed production
All That Is Wrong
by Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert
Venue: Fairfax - Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 19 – 20 October, 2013