I'm a freelance actor, travel writer, photographer, foodie and attention seeker living in the lower North Shore. Check out my blog at www.emmajaneexplores.com for more.
Phantasy & Fugue
Nordic Noir, a night of Phantasy & Fugue, is presented by Endangered Productions for a very brief, four day season. Coupling the contemporary and the traditional, Nordic Noir is an evening of song and theatre, presented in the beautiful surroundings of Australian House.
The first half of the performance features selections from Peer Gynt, where several well-known musical numbers make an appearance. Featured dancer, Isaac Clark, opens the show with an energetic and poised performance as the Troll King and an ensemble cast of dancers and singers do a sound job of performing the other numbers that make up the first act.
Rayma Johnson steals the show layering an Australian flavour onto what is arguably the most recognisable of the musical numbers, Morning Music. This coupling of string quartet and a beautifully danced performance by Johnson, a proud Wiradjuri woman, is a cultural fusion that delights.
The second half of the production features the premiere of a contemporary Norwegian play Virus - A Fugue. Written by Fredrik Brattberg and translated by May-Brit Akerholt, this short piece creates worlds within worlds, villages within villages examining that living in a pandemic, we are all targets. The puppetry work in this second half is definitely the highlight and the talents of puppet makers Katie Williams, Sandy Gray and Emmie Collins definitely shine through.
Christine Logan's direction leverages the power of live music for her staging and Peter Alexander's small string ensemble are a tight-knit group throughout both acts.
The staging of the two pieces together does feel a little disjointed at times, and the decision to stage the Peer Gynt performances on the floor at the audience's level perhaps should be reconsidered due to sightline and technical challenges.
That said, Logan and Alexander's ambitious plan to have music provide a throughline to two very different pieces and bring consistency to the work definitely has some success.