Monday 26 September 2016

Mortal Sins - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

Contemporary circus company, Vertical Insanity Circus are performing their first inter-state season as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Their show, Mortal Sins , uses circus and contemporary dance to explore the seven deadly sins. Unfortunately, the performance, while sound in skill, needs more work in developing these themes and the show.

Alex Charman and Persia Janzen possess a solid level of skill and technique with their show, completing some impressive acrobatics and a nice turn on the trapeze. However, there does not appear to be a story evident and any potential meaning that can be inferred is subsequently lost. Mortal Sins feels like we are simply watching people perform without purpose or intention. Similarly, the dance routine by a male performer, again talented in his own right, seems quite repetitive and lacks the passion that dance requires.

The opening moments with the performers’ shadows being lit from behind a curtain goes for too long and requires larger pieces of fabric as there are numerous times where you can see their limbs and bodies coming out from the sides. I feel there needs to be more exploration with this work so that the themes that arise from the seven deadly sins are distinctively explored and conveyed on stage as it is quite difficult to determine where one sin ends and another one begins, if at all.

Falling 15 minutes short of its advertised 45 minutes, Mortal Sins is a good example of emerging circus artists but not a performance that felt ready to be put on stage.

Mortal Sins was performed as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival between 22 – 25 September.

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 26 September 2016.

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