Review

REVIEW: STASIS

Successful writer/performer Shane Adamczak boldly goes where he hasn’t before and dives headfirst into a large-scale solo ode to science fiction. STASIS explores the two-year journey of Alex, the final survivor on a spaceship after an exploration mission goes spectacularly wrong. With only the ship’s computer for company, Alex – a self confessed mediocre coward must find a way to stay sane as the ship’s STASIS Pods are offline and definitely not an option.

Adamczak usually sticks to intimate, contemporary and ‘indie’ style works with acoustic guitars and quirky characters. STASIS is a show so obviously close to Adamczak’s heart – and despite being so different to his usual fare, has been written with such care and love for the genre. At its core, though, STASIS is about isolation and how the human mind works to do all that it can to stay alive – if not always sane.

Crammed into the small confines of The Blue Room Theatre, the set ambitiously contains the entire spaceship. From the mess hall to the bridge, to the lounge and even the escape hatch. Dominating the stage, however, sits a projection screen and light box platform that is used for off-ship adventures. Adamczak clearly wishes for this work to be on a larger-scale than his previous works, but it is a bit too much. Adamczak’s damaged and bloodied space-suit is wonderful, likewise the sinister and creepy alien puppets add a realistic and dark touch to the play.

STASIS is a love letter to the sci-fi genre – with undertones of Red Dwarf and Alien and Adamczak gets to live out his fantasy of being the badass, kickass, alien-hunting spaceman. Alex is not your typical action-hero. He is not particularly muscular, is a self-confessed geek, and only really displays bravery when he has to. After almost suffering a panic attack at the news that he is the only human life form left on the ship, however, he displays more courage than previously hinted at. Alex quickly establishes a routine – he eats leftover canteen food-units, learns to knit, starts painting a masterpiece – really anything to curb the boredom.

As it is a two year journey, Alex finds himself on a few excursions off the ship. Here, Adamczak’s quirkiness comes back in full-swing, as he depicts these adventures via hand illustrated projection slides and whimsical silent-movie style music. While funny, these interludes seem incongruous to the whole of the work. The remainder of the piece is introspective and emotionally reflective. Alex’s unflappable optimism is tinged with sadness as he maps out the wonderful interactions he will have with his infant son throughout his life. It’s a poignant moment that throws into sharp relief all that Alex is missing out on in his isolation.

STASIS doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s cleverly written with a strong knowledge of the science fiction genre. It’s an homage to those movies and television shows that defined the genre, yet takes the human condition and palpable need for interaction and love and bares it unflinchingly on stage. Adamczack is a class act, he’s a strong performer – especially when playing a character who is perhaps out of his depth. He is both awkward and commanding, scared and brave, weakened and strengthened by his forced lonesomeness. If you like Sci-Fi, do yourself a favour and go have a laugh – and maybe a cry – with Shane Adamczak in STASIS.

WHEN: 10th – 28th October 2017 | 7:00pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $18 – $28 | Duration 55 minutes | Recommended 15+

LINK: http://blueroom.org.au/events/stasis/

 

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