Review Marian Webb
SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT at the Fairfax Studio takes pride of place at the Melbourne International Arts Festival after its much-acclaimed premier at Theatreworks last year. Directed by Kate Sulan, Rawcus Ensemble – fifteen performers with and without disability – join the Invenio Singers in a profoundly moving work of theatre.
Set in an abandoned dance-hall littered with disused carpet rolls, a destroyed cinema pew, dust and other detritus, the action begins as a performer chalks the first lines of Dante’s Inferno on a disappearing blackboard before brilliant light, loud noise, then darkness simulate a cataclysm that breaks down consensus narrative structure. The ensemble performs wordlessly, forming tableaux, shifting the furniture and reforming into choric dance routines and dramatic interpersonal events that slide from one to another like a mind rebuilding itself after disaster.
Aided by the Fairfax Studio’s superb acoustics, the accompanying soundtrack by Jethro Woodward and Gian Slater ranges through a low drone of scratched vinyl to explosion, rhythmic dance and sublime harmony. The Invenio Singers add their clear-voiced, wordless songs, at one point making a melody using only breath into hand-held mics. The performers each bring unique qualities to the ensemble, dressed in mostly casual attire that links everyday personality to stage persona.
SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT is theatre liberated from text, broken into its elements and reconstituted into a stunning, immersive experience. Don’t miss it.
Created by the Rawcus ensemble of performers with and without disability
10 – 12 October | 7:30pm
13 October | 2:00pm & 7:30pm
14 October | 5:00pm
Duration: 65 minutes (without interval)
Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio
Book at artscentremelbourne.com.au or 1300 182 183
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