The first show of the evening, and the midpoint of PULSE (hasn’t it flown by?), was Small World and boy was it a treat, definitely a highlight of the festival so far. You could see Rich Rusk’s Gecko connection and the movement in the show was just beautiful to watch. I especially loved how they used sound effects to replace props, like with the drinks. It must have been such a challenge matching up the actors’ movements with the audio. The use of lighting was another great layer that really added an interesting aspect to the piece. Truly a multimedia endeavour. I also felt the mixture between abstract and more naturalistic scenes was a great balance, I really enjoyed the scenes in the pub quiz as I do love a quiz and I am slightly competitive, although I think the person next to me didn’t appreciate me whispering my answers into their ear. It was the right answer though! The strangest thing about the performance however was the fact that it was phone friendly. There were two people live streaming from each side of the stage and Rich was also recording from his perspective, with the audience encouraged to take photos and videos. I did switch my phone on but I have the idea of not using my phone at the theatre so heavily entrenched, I just felt too odd to record what was on stage. Maddie managed to take some photos though, so keep an eye on the New Wolsey Instagram to get a look at what the show was like.
The next show of the evening was The Black Cat by Lapelle’s Factory and was a modern retelling of the Edgar Allen Poe story of the same name. The two actors on stage sat behind desks and read the scripts of the adaptations but these were broken up by intermissions from the performers to tell the audience what they would do differently to this enigmatic ‘writer’. The story is pretty dark and *spoiler alert* the cat dies and there’s also eye-gouging or as was written in the script eye-gauging, the actors couldn’t decide if it was a typo. Don’t worry though, no cats were harmed in the show, only balloons. Apparently, the actors even discovered that when the New Wolsey Studio was being renovated from a chapel the builders found mummified cats in the walls, which were used to ward off evil spirits. What really made me shiver is that they then supposedly put them back! I don’t know if I prefer to have dead pets in the walls or evil spirits. I hope you’ll think about that when sitting in the studio because I sure will.
The final show of the evening was Louise Orwin’s Oh Yes Oh No, an intense exploration into sex and the taboo surrounding desire and fantasies that may not align with one’s own politics or beliefs in right and wrong. Louise managed to incorporate this conflict expertly into her show, especially with the use of the real-life interviews she played during the performance. It really felt like you got to hear a lot of different voices in a big conversation. I found Louise’s monologues to be really engaging, and had me hooked throughout. It’s a very powerful piece about something a subject that doesn’t get spoken about often or openly.
See you this evening for even more PULSE fun! And please come up and have a chat on what you think about any of the PULSE shows you have seen. Maddie is off being a performer herself for a couple of days so I would appreciate the company very much.
Be sure to catch 5 Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist on Wed 6 Jun at 9:30pm, Education, Education, Education on Fri 8 Jun at 8pm and Hammerhead on Sat 9 Jun at 7:30pm.