Signed and Sealed REVIEW by Esther Dougherty
Always fantastic to see the formation of new theatre ensembles, always fantastic to watch theatre makers playing with new forms and spaces, always fantastic to see groups of young people passionate to the core about making art!
Signed and Sealed was performed at the Woolloongabba Art Gallery, presented by the all new production company Fusebox. The work was site-specific, set within the existing gallery space and positioning the audience as guests at a very dramatic exhibition opening. The narrative follows the character arc of the horrible, wealthy, egotistical artist/gallery owner, Paris. The staff of the gallery spend the evening struggling with this horrible woman, all the while scrambling to deal with a mysterious catastrophe behind some curtains.
Conversations between characters that the audience can listen in on, and monologues when the characters give talks on the artworks are the two narrative vehicles. The monologues were well performed – some talented actors in this group. The conversations were an interesting device, but in a room that small they split the focus and drowned each other out. This could’ve been an opportunity for the characters to mingle and talk to the audience, and though this was attempted a few times, it was largely a game of eavesdropping in a quiet room.
Another piece of split focus was between the artworks hung in the gallery and the artworks brought in by the production which stood on easels. Considering the work was so well positioned in the space it was a little disappointing that the site-responsiveness didn’t extend to incorporating these beautiful artworks. A work that was multi-disciplinary and gave genuine analysis of the art works with the extra-narrative undertones could’ve levelled up this production and offered a full immersive experience. I really hope this group continue to develop this work, because there are a lot of opportunities for this to become a great piece of post dramatic theatre.
I am so excited to see where Fusebox goes! A very talented, very passionate group with a bright future. Signed and Sealed and delivered!
Seen on 26/05/18
Written by Esther Dougherty