Curtis describes the show as an odyssey, but unfortunately unlike Ulysses’ epic journey, things here are more untidy. Opening night wobbles aside, the story itself lacked focus. It’s intriguing to see the Curtis’ depiction of his ego shift from friend to enemy, lover to torturer, but there was little to connect them into a larger piece.
Curtis’ risk-taking is admirable (for example, asking the audience to get up and dance very early on before anything remotely approaching rapport had been built), but with the sound levels blown out early on it proved impossible to be engaged. In addition, leaving the stage to change clothes and add/remove make-up left the space empty far too often and too long.
Weaving these changes into the action onstage, allowing the audience to watch Curtis transform, might be more compelling. Indeed, if this action were done during the songs themselves, the gaps between numbers would be almost eliminated and a more coherent performance found as a result.
The MC Showroom, L1 / 48 Clifton Street, Prahran
Performance: Wednesday 31 January 2018 – 9.00pm
Season: 31 January – 4 February 2018
For more information, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.
Image: Phillip Lee Curtis – photo by Brynie Ladds
Review: David Collins