[ADELAIDE PREMIERE ~ PHYSICAL THEATRE ~ JAPAN]
Dunstan Playhouse, Fri 18 Oct.
Japan’s SIRO-A are known for their surprises, and they certainly pulled one on the audience at their first performance of Techno Circus when, 10 minutes before the 6.30pm start time, the white-clad quartet emerged onto the Dunstan Playhouse stage and encouraged punters to come up and have their photographs taken in various amusing poses. This provided many laughs, especially for the kids at this family-friendly show, and then the hour-or-so-long, intensely energetic thing properly began.
Utilising a screen, animated images, intricate light and shadow tricks, dynamic physical movement, nicely hammy playing of an almost silent-movie level, crazy comedy and a sub-electronica soundtrack that frequently sounded like it was lifted from an old computer game, this seemingly simple but actually cleverly complex show offered some sweet social commentary at its edges, but was primarily all about the visuals. And, after a while, it genuinely became difficult to tell what was real and illusion, and pre-recorded or right there in front of us.
A series of skits or sequences were pleasingly basic: for example, a player sees a ball hanging in the air, plucks it down (a neat trick) and then it flies around, transforms and attacks, while, later, another member keeps going in and out of a hole apparently in the side of a box, although it winds up a near-crack in reality.
A more complicated and contemporary sequence has the guys rushing on and off stage (and behind and before the screen) to replicate a series of company logos (Google, Starbucks, Twitter and the like), while a similar bunch of comedic representations of classic films was even better, although it was surprising they picked Alien and The Exorcist as pics upon which to riff. But never fear, as it was all very cool, clean and cute.
All in all, a great start to this year’s OzAsia experience, and there are only a few performances left, so roll up, roll up!
Techno Circus continues at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times, until Sun 20 Oct.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Images courtesy of SIRO-A | Cologne