Audience Reviews for No. 33
Monday 13 May 2019
Tracey Asquith and Danielle Burge review No. 33
Evocative and haunting in equal measures, No. 33 is a unique theatrical experience that asks its audience to leave their shoes - and expectations - at the front door. For 45 minutes, Frankston Arts Centre’s Cube 37 is cleverly transformed into the interior of an historical dwelling as the intimate audience – or ‘guests’, if you will – are invited to enter No. 33 and discover the secrets that lie within the walls of this family home. Soundscape and video montage seamlessly combine with contemporary dance and classical music to tell the intriguing yet disturbing stories of the four women who resided here between 1912 and 1978. Our guide is Isobel; the matriarch of the family who passed away when her daughter Evelyn was only five years old, and who is said to have haunted No. 33 (and evidently the lives of her descendants) ever since. Isobel floats in and out of the house like a reverie, as her guests are encouraged to sit, stand or lie down to take in the immersive performance which unravels before them as a series of vignettes; beautifully interconnected by nuanced details such as the flocked wallpaper that adorned the home for many years. The dynamic changes once again as a series of cryptic clues is delivered to the unsuspecting audience; imploring the guests to search for answers to the questions they have undoubtedly formed about the mysterious lives of the residents at No. 33, before more shocks and surprises are revealed in a breathtaking finale as the guests are escorted out. An intelligent and sophisticated offering with relatively little dialogue, No. 33 is emotionally laden with visceral performances from Brigitte Jarvis in her multi-character portrayal of the deeply troubled women who inhabited the titular home. Confronting and thought-provoking, it challenges the audience to draw on their feelings and intuition to interpret the fragments of this remarkable story, which demands to be exposed.
The show starts with being guided in stockinged feet through a darkened corridor with pictures and stories to read. You learn about the various inhabitants of No. 33 and their lives through performance art, projected films and interactive sets you can see and touch.
The creative minds belong to Ru Atma and Brigitte Jarvis and their vision is full of surprises and very singular. I haven't previously experienced anything like this, it moves all around you encompassing the space entirely. I found myself alternatively smiling then feeling sad and empathetic with a dose of melancholy.
The show was well put together and performed, certainly diverse enough to hold the audience's attention. With only a few performances left of this short run, I suggest you put on your socks and shuffle into Cube 37 to experience it.