REVIEW: Symphonie Fantastique
Reviewed by Brianna McCarthy
Symphonie Fantastique is a daring new physical theatre work devised by the Little Eggs Collective. After the success of their previous works (Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Pinocchio), experimental theatre lovers in Sydney were eager to see what would come next.
In this new show, marking collective member Mathew Lee’s directorial Sydney debut, we see a range of themes and emotions that are entirely unseen in the collective's repertoire. The show is gritty and darker than their previous works, exploring the demons that can so easily take over anyone's life; egomania, drug addiction, hubris and, to an extent, toxic masculinity.
LJ Wilson takes the lead as the artist creating a symphony unlike any heard before, performing with expressive eminence, the personality of the artist that quickly transforms these ecstasies into dismay.
The ensemble surrounding the artist perform with rigor and dynamism, driving the protagonist through their downfall. In many ways, they embody the music itself, surrounding the artist and audience with the bliss of heaven at one time, and the horrors of hell at another.
Lighting, costume and set design used in the show are bold and evocative. White lights, mirrors, steamy bodies and outrageous outfits call forth images of sweaty night clubs where shadows hide our hungry eyes. Pillars and prisms of light induce the highs of these hedonistic delights. The pairing with symphonic music creates a truly unique theatrical world that just makes sense in its own gibberish way (although the language primarily sung in is actually French!).
While the show is definitely moralistic, unafraid to make the audience reflect on their own nature, it is not devoid of the whimsy and humour that is characteristic of the Little Eggs Collective. Moments of lightness and laughter spliced into the tale showcase the cast’s talents in clowning, which is when I can feel just how glad they are to be making their work. Behind the seriousness and content requiring audience warnings lies a true passion for craft that drives the performance style vigorously onward.
Symphonie Fantastique marks a very exciting return of live theatre at KXT this year, and another notable achievement for the collective.
Tickets can be found discounted for Playwave members and the show runs until February 27th. Book your tickets here!