Covid move gives festival show an eerie new twist

This wrap of shows around Melbourne Fringe takes a look at the eerie work, Pendulum, and You’re a Catch! Why are you single?

Pendulum ★★★½
Shed 21, 206 Lorimer St, Docklands, until Oct 23

An incredible ensemble of dancers in the show Pendulum.Credit:Sarah Walker

The arc of choreographer Lucy Guerin and percussive artist Matthias Schack-Arnott’s Pendulum swung wildly when its graceful curve was arrested by lockdown after opening night of last year’s doomed Rising festival. Set in motion once more, it’s moved from the library-like hush of the NGV to Shed 21, an industrial ghost in the back of Dockland’s beyond. Now competing with thunderous trucks and gulls squawking under the eerie green glow of Bolte bridge, the city glimmering across the water, it’s an entirely different experience.

Six dancers in golden tracksuits – including Helen Herbertson and Tra Mi Dinh – set in motion a field of gleaming brass lamps hung from a vast lighting rig, slowly weaving themselves through the resulting waveform. Schack-Arnott’s pulsing soundscape appears to transform the pendulums from bells to fireflies to man-made buzzers that seem to hum at Guerin’s dancers’ deft touch. This impressive site-specific work will leave you thrumming.
Reviewed by Stephen A Russell

You’re a Catch! Why are you single? ★★★½
Sarah Wynen, Theatre Works, until October 8

You’re alone. You’re seeking a life partner. You’ve lost in love. You’re on the dating apps. You’ve been ghosted. If you tick one, most or all of the above, these 60 minutes could be for you.

The show proudly describes itself as “a collection of quirky and catchy songs and monologues exploring what it means to be single.” And it mostly stays on course.

A comical, competent cast of seven, accompanied by a fine pianist, ponders the puzzling, frustrating modern dating life on a simple stage consisting of a massive yellow mat, scattered cushions and a door frame. With a smattering of humour, heartfelt gesticulations, riotous tap dancing and some R-rated props, a range of thoughts, ponderings and crushing disappointments are canvased and conveyed.

Brace for stereotypes that elicit both giggles and cringe. A couple of catchy tunes tempt a sing-along but it’s the glorious voice of Emily Jacker-Lawrence that truly elates at the tail end of the show.
Reviewed by Donna Demaio

The Age is a Fringe festival partner.

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