IMAGINE looking through a school fence at the playground.
Imagine all the dynamics, the sub-cultures, the conflicts, the lifelong pacts, the betrayals.
Imagine the camaraderie. Imagine the isolation.
Now imagine all the children are supercharged ninjas.
Fling Physical Theatre has long been a name synonymous with excellence and opportunity for youth in the Bega Valley and their latest offering, “X (cross) the floor” is no exception.
A dynamic mix of dance and parkour, this project represents the culmination of a concerted effort to represent the young people, particularly males, of the area in a format that resonates with the themes and movements that drive their daily lives.
And it succeeds marvelously.
Through the course of the performance my reactions ranged from jubilation at the heights to which the performers aspired, to despair at the predicaments of the protagonists.
The ensemble work well, both in coordination and conflict.
I was engaged, concerned and vindicated.
This is theatre, unbound and flapping in the wind.
To the specifics.
Rory Warne is fantastic - an acrobat of no mean skill and a performer to boot.
There was a lovely moment when I felt like I was watching some kind of platform video game and I was almost pressing the buttons to make him leap the next obstacle.
Cassia Jamieson and Julien Comer-Kleine are also outstanding as the Alphas.
Both inhabit their roles, full of purpose and gravity.
Jazmyn Carter’s solo performance is certainly a highlight of the evening, a study in timing and fluidity.
Apart from these focal characters, Tully Doole, Jessye Knowles, and Isabelle Champagne-Chittick were everywhere, providing a mainstay of presence and talent throughout.
Thematically rich, physically demanding, choreographed principally by Matt Cornell, working with Fling’s Lee Pemberton and Gabrielle Rose, “X the floor” is a show for teenagers past and present.
A celebration of the trials and tribulations of adolescence and a reminder of the pervasive intensity of that age, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
“X the floor” previews Friday night in Bega, and continues through the weekend.
Preview: Friday night at 7, adults $18, child/student $10.
Shows: Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 7pm, adults $22, child/student $15.
Matinee: Saturday 1pm.
Schools matinee: Monday 1pm.