Saturday 7 October 2023

Alienation review (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

Expectations are high as I walk into the NICA performing space, and see Jake Silvestro and Romain Hassanin sitting in a boat suspended in the air. Created by the two circus artists, Alienation is a physical theatre show that examines what happens when your survival depends on those around you and understanding your environment.

While there's no denying the skill and strength that Silvestro and Hassanin possess, the show left me unexcited and unfeeling. The tricks and acrobatics become repetitive and resemble warm-up activities, things that get the audience anticipating the big stuff. Rollerblades, a hula-hoop and a cyr wheel all make an appearance but they don't eventuate into anything. They disappear as quietly as they appear.

The set design is interesting in its minimalism and white design but also with the Flinstone-esque boat hanging from the ceiling with Silvestro's and Hassanin's legs swinging out of the bottom. Eventually they arrive on land and the exploring begins. But it's challenging to discern a narrative or story from what we are seeing so we are left wondering what is taking place and what are they trying to communicate with their routine and acts. There's no climatic finale so when it ends, it just ends.

The score of electronic beats seems misplaced if the show is meant to be focusing on what ensues when two humans find themselves stranded in a faraway and foreign setting. The music does not convey a sense of urgency, worry or tribulation. Instead it builds an atmosphere of getting ready to go out and party.

In saying that, Alienation as a whole feels like you're anticipating a hearty main meal but all you end up with is a average entree. Silvestro and Hassanin come from highly talented backgrounds that have seen them travel around the world performing so hopefully Alienation is simply a misstep in their creative endeavours.

Click here
for our interview with Jake Silvestro.

Show Details

Venue: National Institute of Circus Arts, 35-59 Green St, Prahran

Season: until14 October | Wed - Sat 7:45pm
Duration: 45 minutes

Tickets: $35 Full | $30 Concession | Hump Day Discount (Wednesday) $26.25
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

Image Credit: Creswick

No comments:

Post a Comment