Review | Laura Money
Described as an immersive, dreamlike experience WALK embodies this from the outset. The Blue Room Theatre production takes you through a stunning dreamscape designed by Opie Robinson – floating amongst clouds and shedding the reality of the world behind as you find a place in Bobby Russell‘s unique consciousness. If that sounds dramatic, it’s because the pure theatricality of WALK sets you up for the immersive and adrenaline-fuelled experience you are about to witness. The set proper looms in semi darkness. Huge structures reaching the ceiling and spreading across the floor of mismatched swatches of fabrics paired with a low throbbing soundtrack by Peter McAvan puts you on edge, bristled with anticipation.
There is tension at the start of the piece – sitting in the dim light, the set appears to move in an optical illusion worthy of a dream, and the constant thrum adopts an almost heartbeat rhythm. Just as you’re falling under a flash of light dazzles you and Joe Lui‘s brilliant lighting design hits over and over. Each flash gives you a glimpse of Russell as they move from state to state throughout their own personal dreamscape. Bathed in green, pulsing light Russell moves through the set to a McAvan’s simple yet effective music. They move as if finding their feet, crawling and clawing in a primeval struggle to exist. Russell walks through their own evolution – at times struggling, at times battle-scarred and triumphant – taking us through the very formation of self and the world to medieval constructs of bravery, and ending with the rebirth of the century.
WALK ends in a celebration of self. Russell leans in to the kitsch and pure joy to be had bopping around in your bedroom lip syncing to a tuuuuune. Free of the shackles and restraints they needed to be held back by to reach this point, they release themselves in a celebration of self and victory. The nightmare may be over, but WALK is a candid exploration of how every part of ourselves – the good, the bad, the easy and the hard – culminate in our sense of self. Identity is a murky journey and this work proves you must WALK before you can run.
You can catch WALK at The Blue Room Theatre until 30th July 2022. TICKETS
The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.
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