I was going to write this the morning after the show so that people would have a chance to see the remaining three nights, but in the end, the artist asked for approval and well... I got lazy.hermia8
performed a solo show as part of her VCA animateuring course in Studio 45 at the VCA. The audience was shepherded in and took cramped seats in a mostly darkened space. On a ledge above the stage, Anna leaned against a railing. She wore a black coat and she was still and sad-seeming. The lights dimmed, music started, lights came back up again and Anna spoke: I plan to run away with you.
The show was an intense emotional journey of a woman's interaction with her world. Vignettes of her life were narrated in the third person as voice-over. Each of these vignettes seemed to be an example of a rashness of action that only later resulted in embarrassment or regret. There was a constant sense that the woman couldn't trust herself, that her actions always had unintended consequences.
At the end, she climbed back up to her ledge and declared that she wouldn't run away with "you" after all, because "you are too expensive". That line didn't make a lot of sense within my other interpretations of the theme, but then, I still haven't worked out who "you" is.
The most amazing piece of craft was a moment when she stood toward the front of the stage, and I could almost feel the heat of the day, the sun on her face, the love and joy in her life as she smiled and touched a hand to her cheek. Then, without warning, everything changed. Terror. Shock. She steps back, away from the edge, into the dark. Fear. Nothing is safe, it can't be trusted.
The most confronting was watching what I interpret to be the (internally generated and unexplained) electric shocks that I know Anna went through during a period a little while ago. I have no idea what someone else watching would make of it, but I felt it to be intensely personal, uncomfortable to watch, the final betrayal of her own body.
I'm not sure the space was ideal. As the seats were all on a level with the stage, most people didn't see any of the action when the actor was seated on the floor. Many of us stood at that point, craning over the heads of those in front of us.
As a whole, the piece worked but felt a little disjointed at times. It was definitely powerful and I certainly look forward to more of this artist's work! (Not just because she's my friend and I think she rocks!)