SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT - MELBOURNE
SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT, Rawcus, Theatre Works St Kilda, 29 November-10 December 2017. Photography by Paul Dunne (above) and Sarah Walker (below)
The performance space is a large dusty warehouse with old theatre seats, rubbish piled up in a corner and two ramp-style rostra with chairs dotted around the perimeter; it takes a while for your eyes to spy three mic stands on the side with three singers dressed in black sitting quietly. In the rubble a young girl is reading. It has the feeling of a place you get into through a smashed window or door that is slightly ajar – a place of hiding.
The girl in the rubble gets up and walks to the back wall, stands on a chair and starts writing a quote from Dante on it. Before you can finish reading it your senses are shattered by piercing light and earsplitting sound – an apocalypse. One after another the light and sound shatters, the performers heaped in piles on top of one another.
Such is the beginning of Song for a Weary Throat. It is startling and captivating, your eyes dart here and there as the performers move from tableau to tableau. The hell fire sound finally gives way to a melodic hum (The Invenio Singers). A tea dance sign beckons but the ability and desire to dance is lost in the mire.
This piece is about loss, coming together and then falling apart again; about resilience and hope. The 15-member ensemble toys brilliantly with the audience as we try to connect the narrative. The use of music and sound by the Invenio Singers is marvellous.
This is brilliant, energetic theatre using sound to weave it all together. Rawcus lives up to their reputation of a critically-acclaimed ensemble of performers with and without disability, creating distinct performance work and exceptional arts experiences.
Kate Sulan, the artistic director, has taken it all to the next level of brilliance with her ensemble direction (all the performers are terrific) and a solid creative team. Lighting Richard Vabre, musical direction and composition Jethro Woodward and Gian Slater, and sound design Jethro Woodward.
It is a short season – don’t miss it.