"The first ever physical theatre piece combining Chinese and Australian performers under a Chinese director, with distinctive improvised and composed music featuring Chinese and Western elements."
When I read the description for this show, I have to admit I was intrigued. Having travelled to China a decade ago and also attending the Chinese Opera when they travelled to Adelaide, I can say that I have always been drawn to Chinese culture.
"As a NFP group dedicated to creating inventive intercultural theatrical and artistic productions, we are committed to making unique artworks with deep cultural collaboration and exchange. Currently, we have a particular focus on art that addresses Asian-Australian contemporary physical theatre. We believe cross-cultural themed projects in this area have potential for exploration and the creation process is intrinsically meaningful and valuable. We're striving to be a force towards arts and cultural exchange and collaboration between Australia and Asia."
Directed by award-winning Chinese Director Noah Zhao Wang, the show starts out feeling like you have entered a day spa.
Relaxing music, water trickling, the guitar player, John O'beirne, picking a relaxing Chinese melody on his acoustic guitar. The set is dimly lit with minimalist props. I felt immediately at ease.
"It's something that can be interpreted in different ways, it could be a symbol of life. You may get the meaning of it by experiencing it, next time you might start with something else and have a different experience. It could also be linked to the idea that existence is a flow rather than something finite, in this sense, it's a symbol of depth. It reminds me of a saying; 'there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes.' There might be no single answer to this question, just like Hamlet, he was a person who wants to contemplate life's meaning. I think a Stone's Throw is the same through acting and performance overall, it also illustrates some ideas about the questions of life without defining it."
Speaking of flow, this performance definitely evoked that feeling with the silent storytelling, migrating into contemporary dance pieces and back to the story. One scene flows on to the next. It depicts different people and their relationships demonstrating a range of emotional experiences and behaviour from pity, sorrow, loss and grief to love and joy all centered around the topic of mortality.
My favourite scene would have to be that of the beggar. The desperation was confronting, emotive and thought-provoking.
Life is challenging and mysterious yet full of beauty, it's worth exploring and pursuing. I hope the audience can get a little bit of happiness and joy from watching the show. If they find it a touching experience, that'd be the greatest compliment I could hope for.
If you are looking to explore a Fringe event that is unique, moving and engages your mind pulling you back to the moment, look no further than A Stone's Throw.