The Berlin based L.I.A.R. Company consists of multi award-winning German, Remi Martin, acrobat and Chinese pole master, American Mandi Orozco, contortionist and aerialist, Canadian Tarran the Tailor, multi -instrumentalist, and English Tom Ball, stage hand (with latent talents)
This show is brilliant! It combines existential physical theatre, circus, mime, comedy and acrobatic skills. It takes you through a man’s transformation from birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, to space and beyond… simple stage props are used effectively. Tarran’s great music accentuates each sequence.
Remi (man) bursts into life from a bubble, leaving the safety of the womb. His facial expressions show awe and wonder at the discovery of life. Experiencing life is a hair-raising adventure. Only clad in underpants, symbolic of freedom, of being unrestrained, he enjoys childhood. All the time clutching his favourite toy – an astronaut figure, a little boy’s dream: When I grow up I want to be…
Extrovert Remi and introvert Tom tousle and squabble over the toy – mirroring children’s playground fights and competitiveness. Their antics with the skateboards and ballet steps to the music of Tchaikovsky is priceless. So simple. So poignant. So effective.
A single red balloon rising up along the Chinese pole, Remi climbing up to keep it in his life – it escapes him… he has to leave childish things behind… Interludes with Mandi highlight her aerial silk skills, grace and strength in contortions. Perfect miming in her scolding parent role and society’s disapprovingly raised eyebrows.
An onslaught of blowup dolls is symbolic of adolescence’s overwhelming hormones and sexual fumblings. The first blossoming of longing, love, and the first kiss. All beautiful emotive miming. Then transition from fantasy to reality – adulthood is a harsh awakening.
Throughout adulthood, taking on different roles is quite challenging. This finds expression in the hilarious pole sequence. Amazing pole skills master the art of getting dressed – hanging upside down! Clever, how alongside Remi’s development, awkward and shy Tom grows into himself. He gains in confidence, comes out of Remi’s shadow. They eventually become a team, helping each other dress/undress for life’s challenging roles.
Remi, in corporate attire, has climbed up the career ladder. He is suffocating with the demands and constraints of life. Life literally blows him (and the audience) away. Amazing what Mandi can achieve with a fan and a shiny sheet of plastic. He somehow survives life’s storm and gets to fulfill his little boy’s dream. Remi, in an Astronaut suit, flies up the pole and away… beautifully accompanied by Bowie’s Space Oddity.
This show is unlike any other. Unique and brilliant. It will suck you in and blow you away. Life is NOT a dress rehearsal. Carpe this experience!
L.I.A.R. (Life Is A Rehearsal)
The Factory – The Garden of Unearthly Delights, East Terrace, Adelaide
Season continues to 1 March 2020
For more information, visit: www.gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au for details.
Image: L.I.A.R. (Life Is A Rehearsal) – photo by Hong Thai Photography
Review: Christina Gerber – courtesy of All About Entertainment