If you are intrigued by the idea of an evenings entertainment that will have you swept along in a Gothic tale of haunted yearnings then the latest offering from Bass Fam Creative, Mansion – The Experience is for you.
As the program notes proclaim, "Mansion is not for the faint of heart... a fully immersive dance, theatre and circus horror". You are invited to be so much more than a passive, sedentary audience member.
Not set in a traditional theatre space this show unfolds throughout the splendid interior of the 19th century mansion Labassa. Built in the late 1800s and nestled in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Caulfield, Labassa is an example of the sumptuous stylings of the French Second Empire. Magnificent stained glass, heavy wooden carving, gilt embossed wallpaper and frescoed ceilings are found within the 10 rooms in which this sprawling experience unfolds.
Over 90 minutes you bare witness to the horror endued by the recently arrived Walker family who are hoping the beautiful surrounds of their new home will aide them in coming to terms with the shock death of their father. Having recently been bereaved Mel (Skylar Delphinus) and her adolescent children Levi (Lucas White) and Rachel (Shona Guiry) are fragile in the heartbreak.
It is this emotional fragility that the unsettled ghostly inhabitants of the mansion exploit for their own entertainment and agenda. The jilted bride and her maniacal bridesmaid, the unhinged ballerina, a grotesque nan and even their mournful, remorseful father (Timmy J Hickey) prey upon our hapless family, luring them into their dark world with promises of redemption and resolution ... But every happy moment is laced with twisted temptations drawing them ever further into their corrupted void.
Both through contemporary dance and ballet, marvellously choreographed by Josephine Magliolio and Indigo Hunt, the eternal tussle between good and evil is fought out. There is music filled with light, music filled with menace creating at times exquisite moments of reconciliation and connection and then, often within a heartbeat, moments of anguish and torment.
Astonishing are the highlighted aerial pieces. Repugnent in costume and makeup, Nan (Antonia Sassine), like a human spider scuttles up the main staircase and proceeds to hover, suspended high above, twisting and thrashing her body about – facinating and repulsive.
What lurks beneath the bed and invades her room Rachel (Shona Guiry) has no other escape route than what she can manage using suspended silk ropes. Her efforts will leave you holding your breath and maybe the person beside you.
Unlikely you have ever seen a show quite like Mansion. It will engage and intrigue, it will most definitely thrill and delight!
BUT BEWARE, as you are engrossed within the story, as you move through the house. Shadows hide secrets that may choose to reveal themselves unexpectedly!
Bass Fam Creative presents
Mansion – The Experience
Venue: Labassa Mansion | 2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North VIC
Dates: 17 October – 3 November 2019