Skip to main content

Melbourne Fringe: Infinitum

The audience wait on the steps of Arts House; this is not unusual for the Fringe Festival. Nothing’s unusual for the Fringe Festival, really. But waiting on those steps to be taken somewhere has become a pretty regular occurence. When every room and venue and space in North Melbourne is full, sometimes the audience needs to be led first and be allowed to find the performance.

Infinitum, by award-winning choreographer Gareth Hart, plays out in the lanes and alleys and carparks hidden behind the North Melbourne Town Hall. We stand and watch a van reverse out of a driveway. Is this part of the performance? A Fringe Festival volunteer pokes her head around the corner and quickly steps away...

We’re a small crowd of a dozen, being led down these back streets, contemplating these spaces without any context. What will we find here? What will we see? And hear? Is walking down Errol St without knowing where we’ll end up a part of the performance? Yes. Absolutely yes.

A man in an laneway dances. We move away from him, led to a spot that’s not quite optimal. We can’t quite see what’s going on. As an audience, we’re used to sitting in rows and taking up limited space.

There’s another man, untangling cables, sweetening the soundscape. There’s the noise of North Melbourne nightlife, and now there’s a new sonic expression cutting through the din of the places that surround us.

Soon, though, the dancer and the sound designer untangle those cables and the dancing affects the sound design. The dancer drags a microphone along the ground and we are hearing the asphalt and the pavement. The microphone cord twists and spins around the dancer’s body – and the audience begins to spread out, to relax and to find a new vantage spot.

And then both performers move on and we follow... while local residents peek through windows  and motion-sensing lights, which are just part of the local infrastructure, blink on and off, becoming part of the performance.

There’s something thrilling about discovery at the heart of Infinitum. We’re looking at places we’d hardly ever take a second glance of. The show makes us hear things we wouldn’t usually absorb. Hart’s movement is delicate and considerate of his surrounds; he welcomed a car into the carpark where he danced, though the driver reversed away.

I’m seeing a few shows that are set outside during Fringe this year. Last night was overcast, the light of the day giving way to night, but Gareth Hart and Rod Price lit up the back streets of North Melbourne with beautiful movement and a soundscape that complemented and heightened the palpable air of excitement on this opening weekend of Melbourne Fringe.

Infinitum plays at dusk until Friday 23rd of September. Tickets on sale here.


Popular posts from this blog

My Favourite Theatre of 2018

It’s that time of year again, when I look back over everything I saw on stage and put together a list of my favourite shows. I saw over 100 shows this year, mostly in Melbourne and a small number on one visit to Sydney.

I will link to reviews if I wrote one.
TOP TEN (alphabetical order)
The Almighty Sometimes – Griffin Theatre, Sydney
Kendall Feaver’s extraordinary debut play is about Anna, dealing with mood disorders and medication and the complicated relationship she has with the treatments and her mother. Superb cast and beautifully directed by Lee Lewis
Blackie Blackie Brown – Malthouse Theatre
Nakkiah Lui’s work is always amazing but this production, directed by Declan Green, was another step up for her – the satire sharper and bleaker and more hilarious than ever before.
Blasted – Malthouse Theatre
Sarah Kane’s debut play from 1990s London is a tricky beast tackling difficult subjects but Anne-Louise Sarks nailed it with a superb production.
The Bleeding Tree – Arts Centre Melbourne

A Thing Isn’t Beautiful Because It Lasts: Avengers in the AGE OF ULTRON

The latest film in the Marvel Universe series feels like nothing so much as a season finale. And since Joss Whedon was once the master of creating season finales that were both emotionally satisfying and thematically resonant, it’s good to have him in charge for the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron.
I’d like to compare it to the epic scope of Buffy’s “The Gift” but it feels more like Angel, if anything. Things change, the world moves on – and the best you can do is keep fighting. And embrace change.
Tony Stark has always been flawed, but by the third film in his own trilogy, he seemed to have found an emotional peace. But with that peace comes the idea that he can use his technology – his faith in machines being his tragic flaw – to create a replacement for the Avengers. He births an army of robots to calm the populace and fight alien foes.
Robert Downey Jnr’s Stark is such a towering figure in the Marvel Universe films – and to make him partly the villain of this new film is a s…

You are far away: Agent Cooper and his troubling return to Twin Peaks

“What year is this?” Dale Cooper asks in the final scene of Twin Peaks: The Return, the last of many unanswered questions left as the 18-part feature film concluded a week ago.
It’s far from the first time we’ve seen someone who looks like Dale Cooper lost for answers over recent months. But it might be the first time we have definitive proof that he’s in over his head.
Mr C, Dale Cooper’s doppelganger, who was first seen in the original series’ finale back in 1991, returned to the town of Twin Peaks with a goal in mind. Mr C was flexible, though. He had to be; he’d set so many things in motion over twenty-five years, if he’d remained fixated, he would never have come as far as he did.
Dougie, Dale Cooper’s tulpa – created by and from Mr C, wandered aimlessly through life, but slowly made every life he touched better. Plans change and Dougie changed with them. Slowly but surely, Dougie pieced together Cooper’s past life and became richer for it.
Agent Cooper, the third part of this T…