I see – Sydney Fringe (Theatre Review)
I see – The Sydney Fringe
I see is currently playing at The Sydney Fringe Festival.
I have to confess, I love The Sydney Fringe. Experience is of that raw, rough round the edges kind, and it’s the only festival (really) that captures the zeitgeist of a city. Every rehearsal, every enhancing addition moves a performance into another realm, and it often happens that the Fringe is the only place you will see a performance exactly as a creative originally wanted it to appear. To achieve pleasure in this, we must collectively refuse “polish.” As a regular theatre goer, I enjoy my annual dip into the salty unknown of a creative ocean as opposed to my usual practice of taking laps up and down a beautiful pool.
Take my experience last night at The Blood Moon Theatre as an excellent example. A clever young man, Morgan Junor-Larwood, stands (metaphorically) naked at the abyss, ready to dive into his life. Anxiety is his constant companion, keeping him awake at night, pitting him against “the other” in the street and forcing suspicion of influence. He Is no longer a child but, like all of us, harkens back to the time our (M)other ruled our world with her ability to place an object before us that changed our state. There is a longing in him to submit to objects that will change his self-experience, in a search for the earlier transformational objects and as an adult, this is transferred to the mystical processes of art. As Morgan cries his presence into an unforgiving night, his developing psyche struggles with the need for hope against the abyss. He lashes out in anger and frustration, accusing people of mindlessness when interacting with technology, while tumbling into the white middle-class safety of art. We see his frustration comes from the self he sees in those he judges.
But this young man’s tragedy is he is aware of his own foolishness and consequently underlies his anxiety with hopelessness. Surely this is why so called “straight talk” (today defended as Freedom of speech which is nothing other than the “right” to see people at their shallowest and force them to remain there for our comfort) is so damaging. Our desire to hide that which feeds insecurity is impossible, and our inevitable transparency forces a position of superiority upon our perception by “the other.” Our battle for perception goes on when, as Morgan Junor-Larwood so eloquently says, love is love. It is not weak to see beneath our critical judgements, it is intelligent, rational and progressive. When Morgan dances he breathes, when we watch we float. His cry in the night unites rather than divides. Just at the point he feels most alone, comes the very moment he connects with the emptiness in each of us.
For Morgan Junor-Larwood, actor, writer, singer, dancer, young white male, distracted and disturbed youth, alive breathing and inevitably dying human are all the same thing. What you surface-see is no more or less the sum of a human living as Morgan’s reflection in the mirror reveals his universe to himself. It’s an ephemeral snapshot. When we see a person, we are privileged to experience transparency, but to convert this to superiority is the decadence of mindlessness practiced by fools. Morgan Junor-Larwood lives and breathes and all he asks is that you see.
I see is a lovely show that connects human to human. It’s playing at Blood Moon theatre this week.