‘Two Canaries’ is a new play filled with warmth; truly, a good-feeling production, based on a concept by Alexa Taylor.
This 1-hour Mélanie Julien-Martialis production is being presented by The Blue Room Theatre and Alexa Taylor, in the Blue Room Studio at 53 James Street, Northbridge each evening at 8.30 until Saturday 21st and then at 7.00 pm from 24th – 28th September.
The scene: Australian countryside.
The set (design by Tessa Darcey): a four-metre square pond 50 mms deep with water. There are two ‘lily pads’ holding the performers. Hidden at the top of a short staircase in the rear left corner, is a violinist (Brooke Wilson) dressed in black – almost invisible in the dark against the matte black wall. The rear wall is a projection cyc. that allows the violinist to pass behind. The visuals were mainly filmed locally with a few historic clips included; great work by cinematographer Edwin Sitt, aided by graphic designer Matthew Marino.
Good mood lighting by Joe Paradise Lui. The show was smoothly stage managed by Catherine O’Donoghue, good luck with emptying the pond.
Two canaries (Jess Nyanda Moyle and Zoe Street) are perched on their lily pads, or could they be broken pieces of Antarctic ice? They recall their days in coal mines, where because of their special metabolism they could warn against the presence of methane pockets. Now they see indicators of an impending global tragedy, climate change.
They show us tsunami waves and threatened polar ice caps. The canaries try to scream a warning, but all they can do is sing. No matter how beautifully and loudly they sing, will their portents go unnoticed.
This is a warm and lovingly delivered show. Rather than dictation of fear and preaching to the audience, the canaries with song and humour captured the audience. The audience became engrossed as they watched the private conversation between these two adoring creatures. Brooke’s live violin accompaniment expressed a sombre mood, with the odd bar or two of comedy – like the famous Psycho refrain.
With director Alexa Taylor’s smooth non-pushy approach, the message was understood and accepted. The dramaturgy by Samantha Nerida gave interesting movement to what could have been a static lecture. A delightful show, well thought out and delivered with loving concern.