Savannah's Theatre Blog

Superheroes – REVIEW

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on August 18, 2010

Superheroes follows the lives of 6 people associated with a ‘rest home’. For no character seems completely sane. It was performed at the North Melbourne Town hall, directed by Joe Stone and presented by Stone/Castro and Arts House. We see the stories of the six unfold throughout the play and they become more complex. This is mirrored by the more complex acting/directing choices. It goes so far that we begin to question whether the nurse is really a nurse, or whether they are part of a fantasy in an insane asylum (or a less extreme version of).
I really liked the relationship between the woman and the nephew. I thought the writing choices that had been made were very interesting. There was the nurse saying “Now don’t you go having sex with her. I saw the way she was looking at you” juxtaposed with her constantly referring to him as her son. It was a bit disturbing because the difference in perception was strange. I was therefore pushed away from the performance and alienated. However, it was also incredibly interesting which meant I was enticed into the story and almost made to believe that I was in the ‘rest home’ myself. I was interested and involved enough in the play to pay attention but alienated enough to thoroughly analyse the meaning of certain things and, indeed, was able to retain my own sanity.

I thought the mist was a really good effect for the dancing because, as Nathan said, it really fills up the space meaning you can get involved in it and feel what it all means. I also liked how the mist came into the audience (asides from all the coughs) because it made it a more sensual experience.
I found it interesting that the smoke machine was hand-held (off stage). It was good to see that even a MUCH better theatre than ours still had to do some things without advanced technology/machines, etc. It made me feel a little better after seeing many flash bits of technology. 
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the superhero costumes and not just because they made it a little humorous. The little guy was the only one openly trying to be Superman/Spiderman but the ultra-religious man and the ex-soldier were also trying to be superheroes in their own respects. The religious man was trying to save everyone by attempting to have them show their faith in God; they would be saved. In the scenes that involved the projector, where it was as though he was back in the war, the ex-soldier tried to save everyone he could. His superhero alter ego only kicked in when in a high stress situation because he couldn’t hide his emotions and love with anger.
However, what I found interesting whilst the little man was the one to order the costumes, he was the one trying to save himself. He was trying to regain his memory.

At first I didn’t like the acting/the direction of the ex-soldier’s overdose section. This was because it seemed very simplistic and not thought through. However, I did notice that as the play progressed the intricacy of the acting/direction choices did as well which made me think they had thought about it and they had really wanted to mirror the unravelling stories.

Those that the audience could not see:
During our talk with Nathan what I really found interesting was the lights where the audience could not see them. I thought it was a good technique to use because it creates a more “3-dimensional” figure; a fuller person and set. I hope to use something of a similar effect for my monologue.
The flashing green lights:
There were three green lights that flashed when there was the fire and evacuation was in order. I liked it because it added to the urgency and panic.
The fluorescents:
There were normal (everyday) fluorescent lights that were used for the set. They had a fake switch and the real power was controlled by the lighting desk/operator. It was connected via a wire. I liked the use of these lights because it gave it a grungier look which added to how it would be so easy to go insane in a place like that with those people.
The dimmers:
I was incredibly impressed with the huge dimmers that we saw backstage even if they looked a tad confusing. I was so shocked though to find out how much power they used! It was something that had never occurred to me before.


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