Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

27/02/2011 - 13/03/2011

Auckland Fringe 2011

Production Details

“A humorously exuberant portrayal of the tenacity and absurdity of human existence.”

Nest is an original cross-disciplinary collaboration ingeniously mobilising a colourful array of skilled performers from the realms of dance, music/sound, theatre, object manipulation, and comedy. Nest is a constantly shifting theatrical event embracing the logical and irrational.

This anomalous ensemble of innovative performers deviously deploy a heady spectrum of skills to create and scribble over images evoking and invoking memory, desire, dreams, and death.

Navigating unexpected collisions, deciphering new physical and sonic theatrical languages, Nest is at once charming, infectious, multi-layered and elusive. Each cast member uniquely contributes to a performance resulting in original imagery, narrative tangents and sonic invention. 

Innovative performance artists include:
The movement savant Kristian Larsen, he’s like; Brain’s from Thunderbirds meets the liquid metal bad guy from Terminator 2.
The object focussed visual punster
John Radford, master of cardboard 
The volatile tsunami dancing of
Emilia Rubio, she actually CAN bring down the house 
The hypnotically dense concentration of musical samurai
John Bell.
On guitar the monosyllabic
Paul Buckton
On electronic sonics and laptop Bonehead.
From the world of theatre
Jo Smith, breaker of hearts the world over.
And the nimble minded
Tahi Mapp Borren, a Jack in the Box of theatrical skill. 

In the 2010 Auckland Fringe Festival
Basement Theatre 
Sunday 27th February 4pm / Sun 6th March 8.30 pm / Sun 13thMarch 5.30 pm
$15/$10 Book:   

Sundays only

Oddly absorbing existential absurdity

Review by Nik Smythe 01st Mar 2011

As the cast shuffles onstage in total darkness, someone audibly crashes into something in their way.  Amusing accident or calculated effect? As the lights come up they begin a disjointed, cacophonous sort of anti-symphony that sets the tone for a journey what I glean to be a sort of abstract inquiry into the human condition. 

The eight players comprise musicians, dancers and actors as well as input from visual and multimedia artists, brought together under the umbrella of Vitamin S, an improvised music and performance project:  

I gather each night has a different line-up so I cannot say for sure exactly who is who vis-à-vis the promotional blurb, save for wheelchair bound ‘Bonehead’, on ‘electronic sonics and laptop’, who appears to be a kind of lynchpin of the crew, not unlike Professor Xavier presiding over his school of gifted mutants…

The performance that follows is a twisted concoction of childish abandon, primal angst and downright lunacy. Guitars played with an egg whisk, trumpets squealed like strangled baby elephants, ladders climbed, low-hanging lightbulbs swung ominously, moves busted, relationships forged, stories told, fears expressed, confusion indulged… 

Nest is a definitively right-brain experience. Any attempt to draw any form of internal logic at all, let alone any kind of structured narrative, is all but certain to fail. Yet when the desire to find comprehensible meaning is let go the eclectic octet of performers create an oddly absorbing, occasionally recognisable sense of existential absurdity.

It’s hard to tell, and ultimately irrelevant, how many synchronous moments are orchestrated and how many are created randomly as incidental by-products of 21st century living or some such. My eight and a half year old son said he liked it “but it was weird.” A bit like life no?

This review kindly supported by The James Wallace Arts Trust

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