ON CUBA STREET A Street Opera
FatG: Fringe at the Gryphon, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
10/02/2022 - 12/02/2022
Have you ever walked Cuba Street in a dream? Was it a daydream or a nightmare? What is that sense of déjà vu – is it a memory from another life?
Alt-music-theatre ensemble Scrap Mettle returns following a rip-roaring debut at Fringe 2021 (“… an admirably innovative, authentic performance… original sound that’s as impressive as it’s intriguing” – Theatreview).
Cuba Street is a repository of memory, crowded with street-haunts. Let’s take a walk and face our demons.
FatG at Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
Thursday 10 – Saturday 12 March 2022
General Admission $15.00
Fringe Addict $12.00
Ticket + $5 $20.00
Ticket + $10 $25.00
Wheelchair access available
Content forecast: Sexual Harassment, Emotional Abuse, Self Harm, Mental Illness, Psychosis, Misogyny, Misandry
Cuba Street ensemble:
Concept and direction – Madline Ann Smith
Design and properties – Lorraine Tyler
Video and photography – Colin McLellan and Karl Jensen
Vocals/Male Demon: Lorraine Tyler
Vocals/Female Demon: Madeline Ann Smith
Guitar: Louis Gradwell
Bass: Ricki Stroud
Drums: Sam Pay
Theatre , Music ,
Thought-provoking, unpredictable and totally original
Review by Georgia Jamieson Emms 11th Mar 2022
Alt-music-theatre ensemble Scrap Mettle describes Wellington’s Cuba St as “a repository of memory, crowded with street-haunts.” The two vocalists, Madeline Ann Smith and Lorraine Tyler, play a burnt-out boomer and an angsty millenial, who are lured in by a pair of demons (also Smith and Tyler) stalking Cuba St. But are the demons really their own inner demons, haunting them?
This question is never fully answered. Instead the audience is invited to put their own interpretive spin on the action. This makes for an intriguing aural/visual experience as the eleven or so musical numbers that make up the ‘opera’ are played out in front of flickering, dreamlike, projected imagery of Cuba St by videographers and photographers Colin McLellan and Karl Jensen.
The original compositions are a visceral fusion of slam poetry, punk, alt rock and occasional operatic stylings; instead of dialogue between songs, a quasi-recitative is used. The music itself is rhythmic and catchy. The band of Louis Gradwell, Ricki Stroud and Sam Pay ably accompany the singers.
Smith and Tyler are compelling and perform with great commitment and total engagement with the text. Effective lighting changes aid the mood shifts between songs and there are some genuinely funny moments, particularly in the exchanges between the male and female demons.
On Cuba St is an example of what the Fringe Festival sets out to celebrate in theatre – a thought-provoking, unpredictable and totally original piece.
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