Our ability to connect with people and find deeper meaning in our relationships is what lays the foundations for finding happiness. Without building these relationships, life can be difficult and incredibly lonely. In Fleur Elise Noble's ROOMAN, we follow an unnamed protagonist stuck between living the monotony of the daily grind and living her dream and the choices she makes in trying to lead her best life.
Noble uses a variety of visual techniques to tell this story, predominantly through puppet work, illustration and projections onto a moving paper set. The detail in all these is incredibly intricate and adds arresting layers to the two worlds being presented on stage, from the black and white corporate world our protagonist is stuck in, to the more coloured and fantastical world of her imagination. With the only glimmer of happiness she finds is in her dreams, where she meets and falls in love with a ROOMAN (a half-man-half-kangaroo), she becomes more entranced by her fantasy life and begins to gradually slip away from reality.
There is no dialogue in this show, with the music, sound and the visuals serving as tools to tell the story and it is in this regard that ROOMAN becomes a truly collaborative performance piece with many artists from all different fields coming together to bring this show to life. The distinct sound design by Missi Mel Pesa adds deeper richness to the environments that are being visually portrayed. Before
you even take your seat, Noble's set design already captivates and
intrigues its audience. A silhouetted ROOMAN stands in the outdoors,
appearing simultaneously patient and impatient, perhaps eager to share
this story and have the audience begin to make changes in their lives with the confronting but hopeful final moments driving this point home.
ROOMAN in an unforgettable blend of mixed media seamlessly coming together to tell a universal story involving adventure, strong emotions and following one's dreams by waking up to the world around us.
ROOMAN was performed at Arts House between 21 - 26 November 2017.
Photo Credit: Bryony Jackson