Friday, 18 March 2011

John Wrights...just alright

I went to see John Wright's Double Bill of Baby Boomers and The Confetti Maker at the New Diorama Theatre. After working with numerous collaborators who have previously work shopped with John Wright my expectations are high, unfortunately the shows did not live up to the hype surrounding his work.

Baby Boomers is a heart warming story of an old women's journey back to her youth and the unfolding of her tragic past which has plagued through her life. There are moments of pure joy and magic, from the balloon figures, bubbly characters and the simple sentimental moments of humanity. The beautiful characterisation of Nick Ash's 'elderly woman' is a wonder to watch, as you can see the detail of work that has gone into making her live through Ash's body and mask work. Unfortunately the same cant be said for Becky Kitter's 'elder gentleman', in which her youthful energy and womanly features creep through her characterisation, and you believe no longer in the character.
For me the performance and story really came alive in the darker moments, where the use of mask and silence really played and worked well together, I just wished there were more riskier moments like this, which really played with the audiences emotions.
Balloon work and the 'magic' design of these balloon images are outstanding and a joy to watch. Overall an OK performance.

The Confetti Maker was presented in a completely different style and tempo, much to my relief. Frank Wurzinger's solo performance is a joy to watch, his relationship with the audience is engaging and exciting. I was drawn from the beginning of the performance, and only from small moments where the action dragged and the story became lost (mainly with the baby and wide side storyline), overall I was capitulated with Wurzinger's performance, combining slap-stick, puppetry, improvisation and great comical timing to that of Chaplin. This was an underrated performance, (with a little work) will be an amazing show.

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