THE FIRE OF LIFE: a Journey to the Underworld and Back

Chingford Park (411 North Rd, NEV), Dunedin

22/03/2012 - 24/03/2012

Dunedin Fringe 2012

Production Details

A spectacular theatre production using fire, dance and music in a show for all ages.  

About the Bugs:
The FireBugs are a Dunedin-based group of creative critters and performers. Each of us has previously trained in theatre, martial arts and dance. Having started as just a bunch of friends who loved the feeling of spinning staffs, poi, cracking a whip and juggling; this group has now reached new heights. For the Bugs, it is more like a way of life. And as fate would have it, they have been provided with the opportunity to take this love even further through the Dunedin Fringe Festival!

On the show:
This production was first conceived over a year ago one October day in 2010. Since then many minds have been at work refining this production. As fire-performers, we decided on a story which explores the birth, theft and epic recapturing of the ‘Fire of Life’.

The site:
ChingfordPark is a fascinating space with grand old trees and all sorts of nooks and crannies hidden throughout. It is around specific sites at Chingford that we are going to take the audience on the Journey to the Underworld and Back. In order to bring this story to life, we have enlisted a number of artists and musicians of varying backgrounds to provide a wonderfully diverse fusion of genre and style: including the Dunedin Medieval Society, local Burlesque performers, a psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll band, and numerous other artists, this show is sure to entertain!

Chingford Park (411 North Rd, NEV)
Thursday the 22nd, Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th of March.
$10 for full price and $5 for a concession ticket. 

Fire-born adventure

Review by Kimberley Buchan 22nd Mar 2012

In case you weren’t aware, Hades is in North East Valley. For the next two nights you can be guided around the site-based drama at Chingford Park, brought to you by The Firebugs and a multitude of musicians, dancers and actors. The storyline is purportedly Greek but the performances weave the music, poetry, costumes, masks and dancing of all cultures together.

First we cross a garlanded bridge over the Lethe River where we leave our memories. We are watched by creatures in the trees. We witness the birth of flame sparked to life by flint. Morph-suited dancers trace the evolution of all things as ‘everything is born in fire.’

Morris dancing humanity loses the gift of fire to a Demon King who is not as powerful as you would expect. A hero steps forth and leads us down into the underworld where a few members of the audience have an adventure on a makeshift bridge. The soundtrack of the entrance to the underworld is an intriguing combination of bagpipes and a didgeridoo.

The fire dancing picks up as we meet the fire bird and have a battle with some demons.  The demons and are one of the highlights of the performance with their ability to mould themselves to their environment. The narrator guides us onward to the siren cave.  It is amazing how magical coloured lanterns in an umbrella tree are. Our heroes are nearly vanquished by the bird-masked belly-dancing sirens.

Our journey over bridges, winding paths and torch lit tree tunnels culminates in the final showdown of good versus evil. The hero leads his motley band against hooded demons while the demon prince brandishes his fire whip to the sound of electric guitars. The lighting in the trees creates a majestically spooky backdrop against which a creative variety of fiery weapons are displayed.

When you partake of this journey of life make sure you wear good solid shoes.he title above.


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