Friday, January 8, 2016

Review: A Simple Space - Udderbelly

Udderbelly (Central), Thursday January 7

A Simple Space by Australia's Gravity & Other Myths is like an amalgamation of circus and game show, minus the glitz and glamour but plus loads of child-like energy and enthusiasm.


True to the name of this piece of work, it highlighted how a performance space and production can be simple, pared down and intimate, yet extremely effective. Apart from occasional small set piece or props on stage, the square stage was most of the time bare. Lightings were supplied by small spotlights mounted on a post in each corner of the stage; and they were controlled by the performers themselves via common household switches also mounted on the post. Costumes were mainly shorts and t-shirts, while music came from an electronic drum set played and managed by one of the performers. And that's where the "simple" ended.

This one-hour show with 8 performers did a lot of what acrobats would do but inject it with tons of wit, humor, silliness and some serious non-acrobatic skills like stripping, throwing balls at the audience and solving a Rubik's Cube. It is this winning formula that made the show funny and fun. This show took a lot of what "normal" kids should be playing these days and catapulted it to a new height. The jumping rope got an acrobatic twist, the breath-holding game became a handstand endurance feat; and balloon twisting was... well just balloon twisting. With all the merriment and madness came nerve-wracking dose of risks; and awe-inspiring showcase of courage, strength and flexibility. Even though some of the moments when the performers try to involve the audience were seemingly pointless, one can’t help but forgive them on the account of their keenness and charisma.

I truly enjoyed the show. Apart from the less family-friendly ticket prices (HK$385 to HK$523), I would recommend this wonderful show. Be prepared to be surprised, afraid and happy!

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