2 Dimensional Life of Her

Luggate Memorial Hall, Wanaka

13/04/2011 - 14/04/2011

Baycourt X-Space, Tauranga

26/10/2011 - 28/10/2011

NZ Portrait Gallery, Shed 11, Queen's Wharf, Wellington

21/03/2011 - 26/03/2011

Lower NZI, Level 1, Aotea Centre, Auckland

17/02/2012 - 22/02/2012

Southern Lakes Festival of Colour

Tauranga Arts Festival 2011

Capital E National Arts Festival

New Performance Festival 2012

Production Details

Life-sized marionettes punch through their paper walls, drawings transform themselves before your eyes to take on lives of their own — and absolutely anything becomes possible. Set in an artist’s studio, Fleur Elise Noble creates a mesmerising universe that blends puppetry, film, drawing and animation, scribbling over the boundaries between the real and imagined in this playful, visually inspiring production.

Captivating and cheeky, this show won Noble the Under the Radar Best in Fest Award at the Brisbane Festival. 

2 Dimensional Life of Her
NZ Portrait Gallery, Shed 11, Queens Wharf
Mon 21 – Fri 25 March, 10am, 11.30am and 1.15pm as available, call Capital E to confirm on 913 3740  
Saturday 26 March, 10am and 7pm
Bookings: Capital E 04 913 3740
Tickets: $16.50 each or $33.00 each for 3 shows

Festival of Colour 2011
Luggate Memorial Hall
13 April11am, 1pm, 7pm
14 April11am, 1pm, 7pm

Tauranga Arts Festival
Baycourt Theatre Exhibition Space, Wed 26 October, 1 &6pm; Thursday 27 October 1pm & 6pm; Friday 28 October 6pm. 


2D Life was one of our highest rated shows – people loved it!” – Charlie Unwin, Festival Programme Producer for Nelson City Council shared his thoughts about how the work went down with the Nelson Arts Festival crowds. More »

Fleur Elise Noble is an Australian director/creator of visual-based theatre. More »

DURATION:  40 minutes

VENUE:  Lower NZI 2, Aotea Centre

TICKETS:  Adult $25, Senior/Student/Groups $20

Book now at THE EDGE 


New Performance, New Dimensions

Review by James Wenley 19th Feb 2012

Well the New Performance Festival has sprung up within the little-seen bowels of the Aotea Centre. A pop-up (and very cool) festival club is the gateway to a host of shows that, at the very least, will leave you plenty to talk about after.

And it was 2 Dimensional Life of Her that was chosen to open and set the tone of the Festival on Friday. Originating from Australia, the work has been travelling for the last three years. But what this work is, I’m not quite sure. The creator herself, Fleur Elise Noble, says of the show “I still find it almost impossible to describe.” So I’ll do my very best… [More


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A charming, fresh approach to mixed-media work

Review by Stephen Austin 18th Feb 2012

Paper is strewn all over a darkened NZI Room, across every possible inch of the space, as we enter.  Two of the three box set walls seem to be adorned, larger-than-life, as a rustic living quarters and its single occupant, a cleaning lady standing on a chair.  At least that’s what it looks like is there, since these are flat images projected onto huge sheets of well placed paper that make the features of the room pop and the single figure seem like a cut-out.

From all this paper something akin to magic literally unfolds upon itself, as the single performer (Fleur Elise Noble), a group of clay marionettes and various other projected imaginings, carry us on a surreal journey through creation of art, of theatre, of character, through destruction of the created self and back again.

The majority of the work is projected onto every conceivable surface in the space.  The style is rough-hewn and quaintly rendered.  The animations, puppets and style of focus remind me of Chezh animator Jan Svankmajer.

There is excellent and generous use of cinematic framing device and theatrical convention that are at the core of the piece, allowing the whole space to be utilised while none of the space is actually filled.  Characters and situations seem to echo this same lack of depth to resonate with the actual set itself, so that when the darker moments do arrive they are quite ferocious (and, my word, very hot!).

Technically, the projections are so tightly focused as to be near-seamless.  Lighting is nothing more than the two concealed projectors, at turns providing and discovering every inch of the illusion perfectly.  Sound is immersive, well defined and imaginatively used.

This is a charming, fresh approach to mixed-media work that takes its audience on a whimsical journey with a hugely artistic eye that really is all about its device and little more, and yet still hugely satisfying.  Take the kids along to this one as an early lesson in filmic surrealism and theatre of the absurd.


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Creepy, disjointed, and clever

Review by Vivienne Quinn 27th Oct 2011

The audience is led into a dark space filled with erratic black and white images, and the smell of paper. There is a sense of excitement – the set is untidy and rough around the edges. We aren’t sure what to expect.

The image of a woman appears still and silent, but then starts to move and wander through the set. She appears around the room, unexpectedly, obscured and in shadows.

And so the show goes on – 45 minutes of strange and delightful moments, of intrigue and confusion.

Fleur Elise Noble has created a fascinating visual piece of work that breaks with conformity and ponders questions of control and performance.

This unique show uses projected images in unexpected ways; layer upon layer of discovery.

Puppets break through barriers and are then swept away, faces peer through windows. It has a nightmarish quality, though the sort of nightmare you would have if you were on some pretty mellow drugs.

Its slow pace is at times mesmerising, and at other times, frustrating. However the questions asked are perplexing – Who is the puppet and who is the audience? 

A strange show; creepy, disjointed, and clever.  


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Fun, involving, challenging

Review by Deb Meldrum 27th Oct 2011

WOW!  I have just been overwhelmed by a show/installation of such visual richness that I am not sure I will ever get to the bottom of it; that is if I know any more what is up or down, over or under, flat or 3D. 

Fleur Elise Noble has created a parallel world that is riveting in the possibilities it presents and in the characters who inhabit it.  I was enthralled, enchanted, bewildered and totally captivated.  I lost any realistic sense of space and found this performance installation technically challenging. 

The children in the audience sat speechless and I am sure the older ones have had their eyes opened as to what can be achieved with imagination, art and technology. The adults laughed at some quirky jokes and sat immersed in this world where nothing was as it seemed. 

I am sure a psychologist would be able to use this art work like a Rorschach ink blot test so I am not going to share my interpretations of the 2 Dimensional Life of Her as it may be too revealing.   This is the sort of show that gives art a good name: fun, involving, no boring intellectualisation; in fact I am surprised it is not on at our fabulous Tauranga Art Gallery. 

I would urge anyone who has not booked to make an effort to go to this show, it is fun and can be as challenging as you wish but you won’t be bored.  It is on tonight at the Baycourt Theatre Exhibition Space, 6pm, Thursday 27 October 1pm & 6pm, Friday 28 October 6pm.  It is only 45 minutes long. 



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A surreal out-of-mind experience

Review by Unattributed online 17th Apr 2011

If you like your theatre straightforward, 2 Dimensional Life of Heris not for you. But if you have a healthy imagination and a childlike enthusiasm for new ideas, see Fleur Elise Noble’s remarkable performance.

It’s a fringe-styled foray into multiple projection, film, sound, animation, puppetry and drawing, initially confined to two dimensions and then explored in three.

Life of Her, billed as family friendly, works on multiple levels. Kids accept immediately that this is the kind of fantasy world they understand. They do not need a defined storyline because they can create one for themselves.

Adults can struggle to make sense of what they see, try to work out how it is done, and then worry about what it might mean.

Life of Heris fun, illusionary, quirky, scary, highly original and technically accomplished in a rough-as-guts presentation.

It’s a surreal out-of-mind experience that should keep you thinking for days. Recommended for those who like a challenge.


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Original and exciting esoteric work

Review by Caroline Harker 15th Apr 2011

The audience files into a darkened artist’s studio. 

There are ripped up pieces of drawing paper and toppled easels all over the floor, and on the walls are projected images; one feels like the inside of an old villa, another is a mixture of artworks and entrances.

The show begins.

Nothing is what it seems, a blackened wall is wiped clean to reveal a clay figure. It climbs out of the wall and onto an easel, the easel morphs into a box and the figure is trapped, a person scribbles on the easel until the figure and the box disappear into blackness. The artworks have minds of their own.

2 Dimensional Life of Her is an ever changing visual performance piece using drawings, animation, an occasional human, puppetry, projection, and paper. The soundtrack made up every day noises – footsteps, doors closing, ripping, even the crackling of fire – magically adds to the surreal quality of the images. It’s like game between surfaces and realities as the artworks separates themselves from the artist.

2 Dimensional Life of Her grew out of a desire to find a way for drawing to exist in the world as a transitory process rather than a finished object,” says the show’s creator Fleur Elise Noble, from Australia. “It is about finding a way to allow the viewer to be suspended in the space between the maker and the made.” 

Only 26 years old, Noble is definitely one to watch. She studied at the Adelaide Central School of Art, on a full scholarship for four years, and also in New York, before has touring this show around the world for the past three years.  

Noble makes full use of multi-media technology in a way that is both original and exciting. The possibilities of where this could lead seem endless. 

While the storyline of 2D Life of Her may seem a bit flimsy to those more attached to a beginning, a middle and an end, this esoteric piece is a work of art by a very talented artist, and is one well worth seeing.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.   


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Pretentiously obscure or a valid discussion-starter?

Review by John Smythe 22nd Mar 2011

This work of audio-visual animation, puppetry and performance art is unusually abstract for a children’s festival show.

The audience arrives into a dark Shed 11 (a.k.a. the NZ Portrait Gallery), illuminated only by the light reflected from the projected black and white images of a room to one side and a woman standing on the other. White paper of various shapes stands at various angles to reflect the projections.

An usher’s tiny torch does help to guides children to the mats at the front* … and there is no doubt that this morning’s 11.30am audience was totally entranced by what ensues.

The woman, who turns out to be a cleaner, comes to life – although still in projected form – and gets to work … Humanoid figures appear beyond the scrubbed away surfaces; life-sized marionettes …

At home she drinks wine. Scrubbing the wall with a broom reveals sketches; a marionette is banging at one – trying to hang it on the wall? – and she sweeps his sketch away. She goes on to obliterate a number of art works by scrubbing or scribbling over them. It is dramatic imagery, compelling to watch, and it may or may not be a productive starting point for discussion back in the class room (I have no idea what the resource kit involves, assuming there is one).  

As well as her apparent intolerance of art, there’s a bit where the woman discovers she is the marionette being manipulated by much bigger marionettes. There seems to be an implicit paranoia about men and authority figures in general (some of which wear dresses). A tall thin figure tries to light a cigarette, a smaller one tries to stop him …

A projected title suddenly announces a short film about a projected girl looking for her cut-out, whereupon a piano-accordionist accompanies an astonishing image of a hula-hooper who leaves circular after-images on the wall … We see the paper cut-out walk down stairs and through the streets (somewhere in Brisbane, presumably, where this show originated; a generic suburban shopping centre) …

Meanwhile a fire – in colour now – starts, spreads … and eventually everything – in real time – burns to ash (which may or may not stimulate latent pyromania in some audience members).

Only towards the end – in about the last 5 of the 40 minutes – does the woman (Fleur Elise Noble) appear in person to sweep lightness back into her blackened room and reinstate her paper cut-out. When she asks the children if they want a happy ending or not, the 11.30 audience votes about 50-50. But it’s clear she never intends them to influence the outcome.

A bunch of marionettes appear – projected in colour – aboard a yacht at sea. “What else do you think should happen?” she asks. “Make the boat sink!” a boy shouts. But it sails off … and returns with no-one on board, as she resumes her position, projected in two dimensions on her paper cut-out.

I am undecided as to whether this is an unnecessarily obscure work of pretentious indulgence that takes audience interest and attention for granted then fails to deliver on the investment we make, or whether it is a valid contribution to a festival of richly diverse theatrical experiences.

Presumably discussion back in the classroom will start with considering why it was called 2 Dimensional Life of Her. Some students will be more interested in the way it was done – and nothing is offered by way of demystifying the technology, which is a shame.

*In fact the audience is required to leave in the same darkened space, and because they are not facing the projections, and the same silly little torch is the only help offered, it is a mission to find their way out. Given at this performance a small boy accidentally brought down a very large cupboard-sized box, placed presumably to protect a genuine work of art (it’s a miracle no-one was hurt), I assume steps will have been taken by now to improve visibility.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.  


Stuart Grant March 23rd, 2011

Appreciate the review, John.  Just a note on safety: The Portrait Gallery had installed two temporary wall units for the Royal Society portrait exhibition which is running contemporaneously with 2D Life of Her. These units have now been removed, which addresses the concern mentioned and also allows ample light spill for entry and exit of the space. Thanks again to Theatreview for getting to all the shows in the Capital E National Arts Festival -no mean feat in itself!

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