Performing Lines WA
Created and performed by James Berlyn
with Sarah Nelson
Directed by Nikki Heywood
PICA until November 30
James Berlyn has constructed a language, Winfrien, of his own, and, in the hour of Crash Course, he sets about teaching it to us.
Our good work is rewarded with an encouraging “kweiloo”, as Berlyn helps – “tsoopun” – us adapt – “arn-tsunder” – to speaking – “ka-ka” – and writing – “glicken” – in this unfamiliar language.
Before the hour was up, and much to my amazement, I share with my classmates the first, dim, sense that understanding, perhaps even mastery, of Winfein isn’t unattainable. It’s an exhilarating feeling, an emotion of logic, like that which great music or dance elicits.
Berlyn delivers all this with skill and magnetism. There are little winks and nudges from the “real” world – at one point, buried so far under his Winfeinish accent you could hardly decipher them, he recited a list of English-language poets; Shakespeare, Joyce, Eliot, Yeats – but his command never drops, you never think he is talking anything but cogent, coherent Winfrien.
Crash Course was great fun, it was immensely thought provoking, and, above all, it was very, very kweiloo.
Link here to the complete review in The West Australian