Furrow II (Masks)

St Michael's Church School Hall, 249 Durham Street South, Christchurch

08/10/2015 - 10/10/2015

The Body Festival 2015

Production Details

It is the look inside of a different kind. Things don’t get simple when we put rounds of masks on our faces. We hide and create illusions of our personalities.

This bodice tickles, makes finding the truth inside impossible for us. Why our face is covered by such a rank of illusion? It might be a fear of uncovering the real image. Or maybe a desire of playing someone we are not.

Participants of this strange meeting sits by the table. The show goes on, till the narrator or rather close witness of this masquerade helps protagonists to uncover their true colours during this supper. It seems unfeasible this world of illusion could last. Those strange armours crack and show the truth, hidden deep inside of us.

Company Scena Plastyczna KUL
Venue St Michael’s Church School Hall, 244 Durham St South
Date/Time Thurs 8th – Sat 10th October at 8.00pm
Duration 40 mins
Tickets $20, $15 concession from Dash Tickets www.dashtickets.co.nz or ph 0800 327 484, booking fees apply

Performance installation ,

40 mins

Surfaces can be deceptive..

Review by Lindsay Clark 09th Oct 2015

The bare wooden space of a school hall seems at first sight an unlikely environment for that best sort of magic, theatrical transportation to another world, but that is the rewarding experience of this engrossing performance. It is also an appropriate reminder that surfaces can be deceptive.

To begin with, there are just three white chairs set behind a long white covered table. Very simple, very suggestive. Will it be a meal or a meeting or an interrogation perhaps? Then comes the music, a supple violin to bring the scene alive in the shape of a bird headed figure, wheeling an old barrow from behind us, carting a bulky papered load and eyeing us in inquisitive bird fashion as it comes. This birdman will become the guide and orchestrator of proceedings.

The load is unceremoniously dumped in front of the table before the process is repeated and the birdman peels away the apparent face of the violinist, in a hint of what is to come. Music itself can be a cover for something more truthful. The twin dumped shapes have started to move, responding perhaps to the sharp hail of wheat rained down as the watchful birdman releases an overhead container. They too are not what we took them to be.

What happens next is a tenderly facilitated hatching as first a trio of  realistic blackbirds and then  a pair of humanish creatures emerge, their heads two-faced and plastered with that slicked-down hair of fledgling creatures. The birds are set as place markers and the ‘humans’ are guided to stand attendance at each end of the table as the expected protagonists are ushered in and seated. They have feathery dark bird heads.

Their interaction with each other is tentative and delicate, hands especially reflecting unease and longing for encounter and acceptance. The birdman gradually encourages them to remove their masks, several layers of them, each more painful to shed than the one before.

Eventually, they can stand and leave through a gap torn in the barrier which had been the table, passing down the aisle.

The double-faced ‘humans’ clear up the discarded masks, one of which quivers in an unnerving way as the barrow passes close to me. They are as impassive as ever in the face of what has passed.

In fact the whole performance is unsettling in that absorbing way that comes from being in a strange new world, sufficiently related to our own for us to feel enriched by the experience.

Conceptually bold, the piece is presented with beautiful control and mesmerising restraint. Time is suspended as each tiny movement contributes to the evolving scene and musical suggestion from the violinist. All in all it is outstanding festival fare.  


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