The trick when selling a house is sparking buyers’ imagination. If they walk into an empty house, there’s nothing to stir the creative parts of their brain. If they walk into a fully-furnished house, that same creativity is now stifled.
Presenting a setting open to interpretation is the best way to engage people, which seems to one of the creeds behind the production of Songs for a Weary Throat. The show shifts from massive to minuscule. A haphazard, littered, overgrown space, asking one question: “What has happened before?”
Then repeated titanic blasts of sound and light, which in-between the performers scatter then congregate then move again. Any remaining questions fall away as the performers interact, dance, play, run, creating ghosts of scenes like from a tattered film reel.
The title suggests a respite after grief. While there is no narrative, there are pockets of images – struggling over an incline, or a woman cradling a child – that suggest common themes such as loss or joy.
What’s also lovely about the work is the constant sense of cooperation and support among the performers, not only in the dancing, but also when attempting to tidy and clean. It’s a show with no shortage of beautiful moments to spark the imagination.
Song for a Weary Throat
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Thursday 11 October 2018 – 7.30pm
Season: 10 – 14 October 2018 (ended)
Information and Bookings: www.festival.melbourne
Image: Ryan New, Danielle von der Borch, Harriet Devlin in Song for a Weary Throat – photo by Paul Dunn
Review: David Collins