Bright Abyss

It’s Thursday night and I’m watching “Call For Help”, the only show I regularly watch on the “How To Channel” on Foxtel. In the midst of all those shows about how to make your own scrapbook (seriously), this is a really great show about using a whole range of digital equipment.

The show opens with a spectacular scene, as a giant wind machine throws the small cast of five into a mellee of fabric and objects. Almost instantly, they’re transformed into a restaurant (or is it a bar?). The table then transforms itself into an object for their acrobatic movements which they both control and are controlled by.

That’s perhaps a theme for this work: body control. The actors who demonstrate such incredible control of their bodies are, ironically enough, in bodies they can’t control. Bodies which twist, contort, make odd sounds, and are thrown around the stage both on and off the ground.

The show comprises many elements including acrobatics, ballet (to Phillip Glass- style music) and European illusional theatre, epitomised in the work of Phillipe Genty. At one stage Thierre is hanging from a large hoop from the ceiling and then, before you know it, he’s swing back and forth on a giant pendulum twenty feet below. How did he get there?

There’s no real plot, per se. Or at least not that I could determine. Though we all knew it was the end when the strong winds coming swirling back n again. At that point, the audience burst into a long, sustained applause. By the look on their faces they, too, were happy with their performances and with the audience reaction. You could see it in their eyes. Apparently, James Thierree’s grand father was actually Chalie Chaplin. And you can’t half tell. Bearing a strong resemblance to Australian actor, Alex Dimitriades, you can also see his grandfather in those dark, sullen eyes that were such a Chaplin trademark.

Since I last wrote on Saturday, Bright Abyss has been, without doubt the highlight of my life. Aside from work, which is getting back to normal, and aside from a late beer on Saturday night, my life’s been a little quiet this week. Things will change, however, in the next week as I’m going to a few more Sydney Festival events.

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