Printable CopyNO. 33
nthspace Adelaide
Until 23 Feb 2020

Review by John Wells

Who is the spectral woman in a floating white dress? Is that a child’s sweet disembodied voice we can hear? Who are those disconcerting people in the black and white photographs?

Victorian theatre-makers Raw Collective (Ru Atma and Brigitte Jarvis) have devised a curious, elliptical and emotive theatrical collage, circling around the mystery of No. 33 in an unnamed Melbourne street.

Part of the pleasure of this charmingly unusual work is what we do as an audience: we take our shoes off, we write a note to a female family member (this slightly odd task makes perfect sense at the end of the show), and we shuffle into the all-white playing space through a dark, claustrophobic corridor. Later, we are given clues and we scavenge around the space, trying to piece together No. 33’s elusive secrets. We feel part of this intimate performance.

The mystery draws us in. Much of the performance is made up of projected video footage, which is beautifully shot and gives a non-linear narrative of the uncertain story of No. 33. The woman in white (Jarvis) re-appears and slowly the blurry mystery comes into focus.

There are striking images (including a projection of Jarvis’ sensuous dancing), beautiful mises-en-scenes and atmospheric tableaux. The show is a touch over-long and the reliance on video in a live show is unbalanced, but this is a polished, beautifully ambiguous piece from a confident and assured company.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)