'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

18 May 2013

Sons of Sin

Who run the world?
Friday 17th May
The Danger Ensemble
My third production by this new and exciting company.
At The Judith Wright Centre For Contemporary Arts
Opening night of Sons of Sin and if you wandered in from the bar when the doors opened 15 to 20 minutes prior to the official commencement you were treated with the cast chanting as each of the nine in turn was dunked in water and ceremoniously stripped naked to be then led across the floor blindfolded to don a black suit for the performance. Standing around the edge of the space the audience was then given an evening of intense power, fun, depth and even disgust. The theatre was left as a cube with a three level scaffolding structure one end and a proscenium stage opposite leaving the main performance area in the centre of the floor around which we gathered with drink in hand. 
Not only were the cast in constant frenetic and at times dangerous motion on the blood, sweat and beer soaked floor, but we also were ushered or herded around the room by snapping, barking dogs (the boys on all fours) from one place to another to observe and participate in the next compelling experience. Constantly drinking beer after beer throughout the show, they explored diverse facets of male behaviour. The self-identity, the mateship, the levels of passion, the fears, the conditioning, the vulnerabilities, the sex, the coming out, the chauvinism, the good the bad and the very nasty side of testosterone and bravado.
There were some stunning set pieces throughout, but the play was largely improvised around rehearsed elements prompted by drinking games and the draw of a card to decide what happened next and to or with whom. There were tiered (the scaffolding) dance numbers to cheers and hoots of involvement from the crowd, a harrowing rape scene of one actor in a dress, people were drawn on stage for declarations of love, a sexy lap dance for a brave young man in the audience, moments of tenderness and assorted stages of nakedness and physical energy that defined cruelty or daring. 
There were sections where an actor had to respond honestly from the scaffolding to questions from the audience or cast as to some of the most intimate and private experiences of their life, often with a heavy leaning towards the crude or challenges from a fierce woman. Other cards demanded a dare from anyone in the audience which resulted in making out with a girl from the audience, a boy pissing into the central bath-tub and another downing two beers and throwing up. It sounds confronting and it was, but I assure you it worked brilliantly. It was up to the audience as to which direction occasional scenes travelled. Some scenes led subtly to a prearranged conclusion that displayed the incredible training these young actors have had to respond to random prompts. No two shows will ever be the same in composition or even in duration. The evening came to  two dramatic sequences as gallons of fake blood poured from the ceiling (I still have some of it on my clothes as it splashed from cast members) and the final chant as to the state of the world as a revealing moment of spirituality also descends from the ceiling.
This is one of the best evenings in theatre I have experienced. It is not for all and it is not exclusively what theatre should be, but it is a strong and essential element of what makes up the important, invigorating and enlightening scope of the writers' and actors' art. I am so pleased it has made its mark in Brisbane.

Amazing Photography by Dylan Evans

Photos below by Morgan Roberts

And two pics from The Weekend Edition.
Pre show stripping of the cast and David, Sante and I in the foyer.
The End and May It Resurrect
Pic by Morgan Roberts
 Directed and designed by - Steven Mitchell

Alex Fowler
William Horan
Thomas Hutchins - I also saw in As You Like It.
Aaron Wilson
Ron Seeto
Chris Farrell
Samuel Schoessow
Charlie Scache - I also saw in Children of War
Stephen Quinn

Also one of the audience rounders who were assisting the play was Johnny Legobye an actor from The Choir in a sweet uniform dress.

My page with comments of The Danger Ensemble's -  I WAR with singer Brendan Maclean who is in the new Baz Luhrmann film 'The Great Gatsby' with Leonardo Di Caprio and the now uber-famous tenor Luke Kennedy. 
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