19 Tory St, Wellington

20/02/2015 - 22/02/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Callum Devlin (PlayShop) and Freya Daly Sadgrove (Long Cloud, PlayShop) attempt to dance out their confusion about death with the help of a Bear, a Human Child and an Elephant who cannot forget how to live. 

A Part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival 
17-19 Tory Street
20/21/22 February


(3 Feb 2015)

It is with great sadness the we, The Great Danger, announce the definite indefinite postponement of Crazytown: The Feeling Of Sex. Circumstances have changed, and we find ourselves at a crossroads. We could go home with our tails between our legs. Or, we could stay in the world, our tails held rigid and aloft. Today, we choose the latter. Today, we choose to be rigid.

Eamonn has been very unwell and has had to cut back on some of his obligations.

We have decided that there is no version of an Eamonn-less Crazytown that we would ever be excited about. The show is about You, Me and Eamonn, so we are going to wait until Eamonn is able to do it with You and Me. 

In the meantime, we, The Great Danger, present to you THE DANCE OF (NOT) DEATH, a show about a Bear, a Human Child and an Elephant who cannot forget how to live.

If you have already booked seats for Crazytown: The Feeling Of Sex, you may either choose to keep these seats booked for THE DANCE OF (NOT) DEATH, or cancel your booking by emailing us.

Keep an eye out for Crazytown in the colder months of the year. Or the warmer months again. It’ll come when it’s ready.

Look after each other.
The Great Danger.
Freya, Callum and Eamonn.

Theatre ,

Drawing power despite flaws

Review by Charlotte Simmonds 21st Feb 2015

From what I understand, The Great Danger is a cross-disciplinary team of arts-practising friends who are making their first forays as a group into the medium of theatre. They had initially planned to put on a completely different show, but due to the temporary loss of a cast member (I think Eamonn Marra can still be seen this Fringe in What We Talk About When We Talk About), they changed tack and put together The Dance of (Not) Death in just three weeks. 

This is a sweet and charming piece that will appeal to fans of outsider art, ukuleles, mandolins and banjos, animated short films on Vimeo, and sorrowful indie pop. 

That being said, this play contains not a single one of those things, and I’m hesitant to use the word ‘play’ in place of ‘performance art’ or ‘dance’, but the creators are calling it theatre, so I will continue. 

Jordana Dagg plays the most convincing adult-doing-a-child I’ve ever seen on stage, (and in Wellington I’ve seen a lot), so convincing that I am confused for a good five minutes at least about whether she is a boy, a girl, an adult or a genuine child. The androgyny and agelessness is so complete that she is almost only given away by the tattoos on her legs. 

Freya Daly-Sadgrove is a dancing elephant whose best friend, the dancing bear, is played by Callum Devlin. 

All the music for the show was created by Callum Devlin and the show may well be worth seeing to hear the music alone It is beautiful, ethereal, variable, sometimes light and sometimes dark, and could easily be sold as show merchandise. 

Comprised of a sequence of titled dances, with small narrative snippets woven in between, The Dance of (Not) Death is collated in a manner that is extremely satisfying. Satisfying as in when you find a music album where each song transitions into the next just right; where the album has a beginning, a story arc, and then a conclusion; where, although the ‘songs’ (in this case, scenes) individually may not stand out as brilliant singles, the album has a sense of cohesion as a whole. You have to stand back from the painting slightly to see the image. 

But there are many weak points and the level of quality displayed in the various art forms that come together in this work (music, dance, writing, acting, costuming, tech) is a little erratic. It reminds me of a children’s picture book with illustrations and artwork so exquisite that in some ways they only serve to further highlight the weakness or strangeness of the writing. Yet, I think there will be people for whom the narrative here will hold a sense of profoundness and depth, and who may find it very moving and even feel personally spoken to through the work, although it comes across as overly sentimental to me.

At no point, however, do I feel a lack of engagement with the work, and it even feels far shorter than an hour (although I do not look at the time). Despite its flaws, there is still something about the characters and the work as a whole with such power to draw people in that I do sincerely hope it finds its audience, and I believe the audience for this show is out there.

I am also very eager to see what The Great Danger can do with more time up their sleeves and a few more shows under their belts. 

Jordana Dagg also has some AV installations showing in the Performance Arcade, which may be fun to check out before or after the show.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council