Playwright: Emily Hughes, Kirsten Harvey, Jasper Empson, Molly Keczan
Cast: Emily Hughes, Kirsten Harvey, Jasper Empson, Molly Keczan
Music: Waylen Miki
Voice: Ellery Miki-Petite
Animation: Evan DeRushie
Review by: Tom Mackan
Oh yes, dear readers, yes. If you’ve had lots of romantic drama, stories of love and betrayal, broad sitcom humour, sex, violence, brain challenging wit, and social conflicts, you should be ready to relax for a softly moving less-than-an-hour of theatre, something child-like without being child-ish. This collective work by a company of gifted young people called “Everlasting Slumber” is tagged “a fairy tale told through aerial theatre”. And literally, it’s aerial. Performed in the spacious and very cool Studio space at The Citadel venue, the gifted and graceful actors perform on hanging shapes, sturdy ropes, and graceful yards of gold cloth. Their story begins gradually and develops gently, and when the performers are not elegantly suspending themselves with acrobatic expertise, they play with those large “hula hoops” that have graduated into high skill-demanding devices. There are four of them to tell a story: Jasper Empson, Emily Hughes, Kirsten Harvey, and Molly Keczan. Add a fifth, a voice over, a charming child voice that we take to be Ellery Miki-Petite (programme note: the world’s most articulate 6-year-old), whose spoken words are also added to a video representation of a darkling enchanted wood.
Fallen from a tree when playing with his sisters, a young boy is found in a deep slumber, and the actors turn themselves into his dream, and they play it out for us in grand style. Yes, the aerial style promised. The story gains just the right element of tension with the appearance of serpent to antagonize the events, particularly the security of the boy’s family circle. It’s a scarlet snake, all sinuous and provocative, worked like a puppet by one actor, and it’s in the dreaming boy’s role to awake and deliver his little circle of mother and sisters safe from the serpent. Will this happen. Well, who am I to be spoiler, eh? Come see for yourself.
Excellent technical and artistic work from Evan Derushie (the creator of the snake) and Waylen Miki in charge of the evocative music used throughout. Other techies are not credited, but we suspect some excellent stage manager is working in the background, and all credit to him/her (or them).
At the Studio Venue, The Citadel. Three more performances from this review date are slated. Show up, do, and tell them I sent you.