11 September 2019

Fling Physical Theatre shows us "Home"

| Ian Campbell
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You’ve seen the bright yellow posters around town, well I went to see the show behind them on Sunday night in Merimbula.

You’ll be pleased to know the season is half way through and there is still a chance for you to see “Home” later this week at Bermagui and Bega.

I think you’ll like it, I did.

Being Fling Physical Theatre the show “moves” along but perhaps has a more traditional story telling structure than the other Fling show’s I’ve seen. For a mug like me there’s lots happening around the dance and movement that lets you interpret what’s going on in front of you.

And it is right in front of you.

The cast at times are right up in the front row, bringing great energy but also perhaps invading that personal space that family is guilty of from time to time at home.

Live and recorded spoken word, sound effects, shadows, lighting, original music and movement are all deployed to tell the story or at least allow you to see your own story line, unique to your experience of home.

The sights, sounds and sensations of Araganu open the show and point to the role geography plays in creating that feeling of home.

From there Brooke Hutchins takes you on a frustrating car ride on the dirt road over Dr George Mountain. For the first time ever I saw how dance and movement could be used to tell a story. The odd “fuck” in between her dramatic twists and tumbles helped!

Ruby Hodder and her night club style teenage escapism lead into a hilariously flirty dinner party scene, with Kassowari Fenton and her bed sheet trying to tackle the morning after with dignity.

What Ruby and Velvet Jones do with Kassowari’s bed sheet before it becomes a bed sheet is a real highlight and shows off the rehearsals and choreography behind it all.

Any exploration of home needs a pile of washing and I really felt the disappointment of Janine Scrivens when she discovered that her day off had just been swallowed.

Joshua Wellington finds himself front and centre having just returned to the valley and his childhood home of Verona, the spark he and Brooke share in the show’s tender, more sensual moments adds to the depth.

Equally the blue their two characters have while standing on the show’s simple but sturdy furniture is close to the bone. The silliness of those familiar arguments punctuated by the ever lurking Home Choir with brilliant comic timing.

Before the 50 minutes are up you’ll discover a new comic duo Phillip Gall and Peter Read (a comic trio if you count Philip’s squeaky wooden trolley). I am not sure if what they did was rehearsed or improvised but it worked and made us all laugh and think of the grey old buggers that add to a home’s charm.

Interjecting through out with song and guitar is the home spun style and sensibility of recording artist Heath Cullen, who’s tune “Kitchen Song was part inspiration for the show and brings it together.

The warmth, fun and skill of the performances is one thing but running through every element of Home is the class of the collaboration behind it.

Direction and choreography by Gabrielle Rose, musical direction and composition by David Hewitt, choral leadership and co-direction by Dan Scollay, song and performance by Heath Cullen, lighting and production by Gerry Corcoran. A real example of what regional artists can do with just a little bit of sponsorship and funding.

The faces on the stage are familiar. These are people you see around town going about their day jobs as hairdressers, social workers, school kids and draftsmen. Planned or otherwise it’s familiarity that deepens my connection with this production and with this place I call home.

Four shows are left – Thursday March 17 and Friday March 18 at Bermagui Community Hall and Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 29 at Mumbulla School Hall. The performance starts at 7:30 tickets are $16 to $22 at Trybooking and at the door.

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