Monday, June 27, 2016

Theatre: The Astronaut (★★★★½)

Created and performed by Samantha Chester
Directed by Frances Barbe
Composer Ekrem Mulayim
Designed by Isabel O’Neill
Lighting and vision designed by Matthew Osborne
Until July 9

 The best physical theatre occupies the space between the abstraction of dance and the directness of drama, and when it clicks it has the power and insight of both.
Last year, Dalisa Pigrim’s Gudirr Gudirr, a transcendent example of the form, had me spellbound. It’s happened again, this time courtesy of Samantha Chester’s mysterious, superbly executed and ineffably sad The Astronaut.
Even more than Pigrim, Chester eschews text in favour of movement and image.
The space that creates, in the words of The Astronaut’s director – and Chester’s colleague on the faculty of WAAPA – Frances Barbe, operates between “the performer’s intention and experience of a work and the audience’s perception and experience of it”.
Though I took some different, personal, thoughts away with me (perhaps because of my direct memory of those scratchy images), I’m sure my admiration for The Astronaut will be shared by everyone lucky enough to experience it.

Read the complete review in The West Australian

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