REVIEW: Pinch Me

Bush or buildings? History or future? Dreams or reality? These are the questions Pinch Me asks. With beautiful projections, a fantastic soundscape and an endearing performer, I wanted to know the answers just as much as the creators.

I felt an instant sense of peace when performer Katelyn Panagiris floated her way onto the wooden stage layered with soothing music and projections of floating autumn leaves. I felt the dreamlike atmosphere creep its way into The Lucky Duck’s back space, the cafe’s hanging plants fit perfectly with the piece’s environmental focus; an interesting, more warm and rustic contrast to the show’s urban aesthetic when performed at SAE Institute last week.

As as we follow Panagiris into her dream, through juxtaposing landscapes and ricocheting moods, we are invited into an exploration through time, history and progression. What begins as a flirtatious friendship with Mother Nature becomes a fight to trace ones roots in an urban playground.

Remembering where you have been is hard enough at times, but when it’s presented through a dream anything is possible and gaps in memory can prove frustrating.

Panagiris is endearing, youthful and charismatic. I clung to her words every second of the performance and inched my way to the edge of my seat with every electric movement sequence and intricate dance move.

The only time my allegiance wavered was when Panagiris’ performance was forced into the background during content-heavy voice overs used to tell long and detailed stories or introduce the voice of others.

Pinch Me is vibrant, intricate and insightful. With beautiful projections and a playful performance, a heavy political topic is presented to us through rose coloured glasses. A wonderful piece and important discussion; an excellent piece of theatre.

This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the performance on May 14.
Full disclaimer: This reviewer has previously worked with performer Katelyn Panagiris.