Review | Laura Money
Newcomers to the Perth scene, The Motiff Collection are a collaboration of musicians, performers, producers, and arts enthusiasts who wish to explore meaningful and beautiful things. Nuit D’Etoile and Wheatfield With Crows are their FRINGEWORLD 2022 offerings and the shows are a good strong start for this budding company. Beginning with an immersive music and visual arts experience that takes French songs performed by classical musicians, Nuit D’Etoile (Starry Night) sets the mood with a melancholy yearning for Wheatfield With Crows – a play about the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh. It’s poignant and emotional and well worth the visit.
The installation is elegant and stunningly rendered. Pianist Lydia Lai is wonderfully accomplished, her gentle tripping over the keys the perfect accompaniment to the elegant sopranos Charis Postmus and Jesse Chester-Browne. Their vocals are gorgeous, rich and deep sounds soar throughout the intimate space of After Dark creating a wonderful synergy with the cleverly motion-filled projections of van Gogh’s famous artworks. Nuit D’Etoile is a clever entree into the beauty of van Gogh’s works – reminding you of how special his talent really was.
After such a beautiful primer, Wheatfield With Crows sensitively and creatively explores the inner torment of van Gogh. Director Madeline Stephens has the young ensemble cast in black, expressing the emotions of the main script as dialogue occurs. This is a clever way to engage all actors rather than give them two-line cameos that also serves to communicate the deeper emotive undercurrent of the play. This isn’t always carried off as well as it could be, however I’m sure that it will be more nuanced as the players get more experience under their belts. Jacob Miles‘ portrayal of Vincent van Gogh is strong, if a little overdone. He expresses van Gogh’s inner torment and apparent synaesthesia in a controlled manner, turmoil painted on his face, yet is slightly lacking in control at the sections which require more subtlety.
Overall, the shows are very promising and I would consider The Motiff Collection a company to watch. They are all clearly talented and have great vision, and with more experience have the potential to become a powerhouse of entertainment in Perth. Watch this space!
You can check out Nuit D’Etoile and Wheatfield With Crows at After Dark until 22nd January 2022. TICKETS
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