“A stone’s throw” can be a short distance, or longer. Perhaps its malleability is the reason why it remains such a common idiom, even after five centuries. A Stone’s Throw, by Cross Encounters, plays with this definition in a cross-cultural production featuring Chinese and Australian performers.
In keeping with the title, those performers – Jesse Donaldson, Rosemary Ochtman and Olivia Wang – move through their space sometimes close to each other, sometimes touching, and sometimes apart.
Their characters – a fisherwoman, farmer, a holy or wise man, and a beggar – are painted with broad stokes, communicated well through a series of repetitious movements.
Helping to thread these pieces together is musician John O’Beirne, present yet tucked away. His guitar – a predominantly Western instrument – evokes the kind of sonic landscape expected from traditional Chinese instruments. There’s an inherent tension that Director, Noah Zhao Wang, wisely lets exist without drawing attention to it.
A Stone’s Throw may not have much in the way of narrative, but considering the audacity of its scope – let alone the challenges of performing digitally without the benefit of a live audience – it certainly provided plenty of atmosphere and entertainment.
Image: Jesse Donaldson and Rosemary Ochtman in A Stone’s Throw (supplied)
Review: David Collins