Dr Gemma Regan
I'm a writer, arts reviewer, a scientist, a UFO researcher and a Radio host for 4ZZZ 102.1FM with my show The Witching Hour exploring the paranormal, conspiracy and the esoteric. www.4zzzfm.org.au/program/the-witching-hour
A fascinating vignette of cultural truths
Any trip to the trendy Metro Arts Theatre will lead to something unexpected and surprising. Acting as a testing ground for the avant-garde arts in Queensland, it gives the opportunity for the more niche arts performers to have an appreciative audience. The theatre collective of Robert The Cat were the perfect collaboration to showcase this quirky presentation of Love and Information. Directed by Lisa O'Neill and Anatoly Frusin, with Rosalind Williams as the vocal coach, the group nurtures and showcases the skills of young performers as their talents emerge.
Love and Information was written by Caryl Churchill and first performed in 2012 at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre in London. Caryl, an English playwright, has also written for British radio and television and provides a quirky edge to her style of writing, leaving much open to interpretation. This is also the case for Love and Information, which was fascinating to watch where ten actors play 58 brief scenes, some only lasting five seconds, using over 120 characters!
The timeless 1741 Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach, provides brief interludes between an abstract collage of scenes giving glimpses of modern society. It is divided into seven parts with a projection of a number or title to denote the transition between each scenario. Often they are unrelated and juxtaposed: giving the audience a glimpse into "depression" where a mother pours herself another glass of wine, instantly followed by "the child who feels no pain" being prodded, pricked and teased. It is as if you are looking through each window in a city as you fly past seeing only a vignette of each person's life and situation.
As there were numerous scenarios and characters, it was fast-paced and fascinating throughout. Every actor shed and donned roles incredibly well, with quite literally the drop of a hat! However, with some of the very brief scenes, they changed quicker than the brain could register the significance of the scenario and thus some of the poignancy may have been lost. The use of diverse forms of lighting and audio by Geoff Squires, was extremely effective in instantly transforming a salubrious back alley to inside a haunted house. The dimming of the lights between each scene also helped the audience adjust to each new scenario.
A Fascinating Vignette of Cultural Truths
Churchill's work is purposely subjective, where the paradigms of each audience member reveals significant variation in personal interpretations - from comical to disturbing. This was further confirmed in a discussion with another audience member afterwards, where we both attributed very different contexts, insight and significance to some of the vignettes. Love and Information was extremely effective in presenting many truths about our modern society and possibly also revealing some personal inner truths…