Friday, 14 July 2017

By A Thread review

Circus doesn’t come as bare as One Fell Swoop’s By A Thread. Presented at Gasworks Arts Park, the entire show consists of one prop: a 30 metre piece of rope held up by two pulleys. The way in which the rope is used throughout the show, in both a literal sense and a metaphorical one, leaves audiences thoroughly entertained with the opportunity to consider the relationships in their life and what trust means to them. 

The spool of rope is used as a representation of trust; trust that the performers place in each other and the trust that we place in people in our own lives. The seven emerging circus artists (Jonathan Morgan, Charice Rust, Sarah Berrell, Ryan Darwin, Ela Bartilomo, Hamish Norris, and Jordan O’Brien from Melbourne’s National Institute of Circus Arts) completely and utterly depend on each other to execute their routines as they are constantly being flung into the air, spun around and dropping into each other’s arms. 

The ensemble work confidently as a cohesive team who are able to communicate with each other by just a glance and know exactly where each of them are at any given time. Their amusing and playful acts include an imaginative interpretation of pass the parcel and a brilliant see-saw routine that showcases their immense flexibility, agility and strength. There is a strong feeling of innocence and openness flowing throughout the show but there are numerous times where more complex thoughts are explored.

Emily Barrie has designed some contemporary costumes for the cast, allowing an individual look to each while also suggesting that they still belong to each other. After Dark Theatre’s lighting design and Lee Stout’s sound design both emphasise and support the tone being created from the performances and this all comes together perfectly in the intimate duo act between Rust and Morgan set to Oh Wonder’s gorgeous song “Technicolour Beat”. Their intertwining bodies and movements tell a beautiful story that elicits a strong emotional response. 

With life getting busier and busier for many of us, One Fell Swoop’s By A Thread is an opportunity for audiences to slow down and focus on what’s important in this highly appealing show. Just as trust is an integral part to any successful relationship, the creative direction that One Fell Swoop has taken with this show is integral to any successful circus show.

Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park, 3206 
Season: Until 16 July | Fri - Sun 7:30pm, Sat 1:30pm 
Tickets: $45 Full | $40 Conc and Under 30 
Bookings: Gasworks Arts Park

Photo Credit: Aaron Walker

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