Blaas @ Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio, Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville 3/3/2019

oerol 2013 - baukje schweigman- :blaas"

Spoiler alert: there will be no spoiler alerts. I will describe the set up but that is as far as I will go, as even a preview might be giving too much away.

Before entering the performance space we are instructed to remove our shoes and given plastic foot coverings to wear. Inside the large open white studio there are two white tiered benches facing in the distance what appears to be crumpled white canvas. Slowly the crumpled canvas begins to inflate and deflate as though to simulate breathing, gradually ballooning and mushrooming. It expands into a giant marshmallow or tented structure, an enormous cubed pillow. Slowly the marshmallow-starfish-blob moves about in the studio space in an exploratory fashion, it’s movement is like that of an octopus or jellyfish. I start to think that this is like a show based upon the Ricky Fitts’ plastic bag videos from American Beauty in which there is there is beauty and chaos to the movement.

I want to tell you so much more… but I just can’t. It’s not that I selfishly don’t want to share the experience, just that to fully enjoy this experience, it is best to not know what to expect, to go in without preconceived notions and have the surprises be actual surprises. To have been foretold would take away from the experience and that would be selfish.

This performance is not simply something you watch but one that you actually become an active (although still mostly passive) participant in. Gradually the audience is transformed from a spectator and moves from watching the performance to being inside the performance. You forget where you are, immersed in the experience and afterwards you may be unsure or doubt that you are back in the same place that you started from and you are asking yourself if indeed you are the same person that entered the building at the beginning. This is a transcendent experience that will continue to resonate with audiences long after they have left and should not be missed. 

Adelaide Festival review by Jason Leigh

For tickets, dates and times for Blaas head to the Adelaide Festival website.

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