fringe: skye gellmann - mothlight

mothlightI don't know that I really have the right words yet to describe the experience of Mothlight by Skye Gelllmann...

I'm not even sure how you would categorise it... it's not really dance, it's not purely acrobatics... I kinda think it comes down squarely in the realm of "performance art" which sounds a little wanky.

Maybe it's better described as "experience theatre"... because it was certainly an experience from beginning to end.

Firstly, the venue... the EziPark carpark off Wakefield Street... not the first thing you think of when you think Fringe Show.

To get to the show (after standing around downstairs waiting for the usher to come down and collect us) you go up in the elevator as far as it will go, then take the stairs up to the very top level...

And you enter another world essentially.

I don't want to completely spoil the shock of the experience, but Gellmann's website describes it as "a labyrinth of strained plastic reeds"... but it also felt like entering the lair of a giant spider...

There are no seats, no stage, no clue about where you're supposed to sit or stand or if you're allowed to breach the strands that block your way... and you're also aware that you're not alone up there (not counting the rest of the audience)... there are things wrapped in plastic...

Once the performance does begin under the light of a single bulb, it's dirty and raw and brutal and messy and painful and takes place as though the audience isn't really there for the most part. It's also silent... that's what makes it most effective I think... the whole show is performed silently, with only the wind flapping in the plastic, the sounds of the traffic below and the occasional slap or grunt from bodies in motion.

As it progressed I felt like I'd either been dropped into the middle of some sort of science fiction movie... or some sort of odd alien nature documentary... I had the strongest feeling of having watched something being born and being taught about the world... which led to a somewhat violent mating dance.

Given the applause and cheers after the show ended, I think it captured everybody's attention.

But it's definitely an odd experience... odd, but amazing!

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