MARCO, POLO AND LITTLE MARGARET

Te Auaha, Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

03/03/2021 - 06/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details



Let’s go for a ride on Little Margaret, a magical bike who takes Marco and Polo on an adventure into the wildest places of their imagination.

Jump in and dive into the spellbinding escapades of these peculiar characters whose whimsical acrobatic journey takes them twisting on trapeze, twirling up aerial rope and balancing precariously on their fantastical bikes as well as each other.

If you are curious at heart, and you think you’ve seen it all, think again. Let Marco, Polo and Little Margaret show you that the sky is not the limit.

Friendly family show

Te Auaha – Tapere Nui, Level 1, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro
03-06 March 2021
6.30pm
BOOK through Fringe


Cast:
Julia Bromley and Albert Carneiro

Crew:
Rigging Specialist - Nic Balkum and Connor Leech
Sound and Lighting Specialist - Dean Holdaway
Backstage – Jeannie Liddy
Admin – Julia Bromley and Albert Carneiro
Photographers – Jessica Savage and Carissa Corlett 


Theatre , Physical , Family , Circus ,


50 mins

Wonderful circus moments but lacking in character connection or narrative spine

Review by Bryce Pedersen 04th Mar 2021

Live theatre at Covid Alert level two in Wellington. It is a little forlorn. The bar at Te Auaha is shut. No excited chatty crowd shouting of “How are you? What are you doing here?” The atmosphere is cautious, the audience are individuals one meter from another person’s raised eyebrow or slow smile, unable to take our cues from each other.

The sign on the door is practical, sensibly warning us of lighting, haze and noise. We are all so brittle, these days … But the show promises spellbinding, whimsical magic! Do we get such treasure?

It is there, but it is hard work to find … There are some clunky rocks to chip away before we get to diamonds …

Last weekend I had my four-year-old friend Annabelle stay at my house, turning everything upside down and inside out. She would have really enjoyed this show and she deserves to be the reviewer. However, dear reader, you are stuck with me. I will end up over intellectualising a show that wants to be simply enjoyed. But simple pleasures are complex things … 

There is a strange, promising Beckettian tone to the show, with banal exchanges about nothing much and idle competitions with no prizes, but the show needs more courage and daring, to really bring out some pathos and our empathy. The performers lose opportunities for us to get to know the characters – every time acrobatic equipment is set up, for example, we could spend time with a character and they could show us their vulnerability, open up, let us in, tell us something we don’t know about them, but instead it just feels like dead time.

If they showed us their vulnerability and complexity, then when they do their marvellous physical stunts, its more dangerous and daring, because we care about these characters. There is an inclination to Pantomime, which misses any possible drama or comedy moments that reveal who these characters are and what moves them. The Man Child character is particularly problematic – audiences are wary of adult men appearing sulky and immature. It is bad enough in real life.

But when the acrobatic or gymnastics are on show, it is thrilling and exciting. These skilful episodes pass all too quickly – these should be the moments to savour. Slow them down, let us enjoy them longer and marvel at being there, watching it live. The physical theatre – which the performers are delightful in – seem rushed, or over too soon, while other parts are maddeningly repeated and sacrifice energy.

We want the physical theatre to have the thrill of slow motion, the possibility of watching it all go crashing down, and to savour the victory of sheer physical effort. And these are wonderful circus moments – the rope of pasta, the flying bicycles, the intertwined bodies that cannot find each other. Terrific stuff, but without a narrative that takes us to new places, or characters we know and care about, they feel like isolated incidents.

Marco, Polo and Little Margaret wants me to have a warm glow, but all I can feel is the air conditioning still on in autumn. Although, the Rope of Pasta does make me hungry, so some tricks do work.

Comments

Ravereviewer March 6th, 2021

I agree that this review is over intellectualized. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the show with its ridiculous characters. The performers nailed it with their lighting, music, costumes, cues and timing, and their physical strength was incredible. Recommended the show to some friends but they weren't able to get tickets as all the nights sold out.

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