Printable Copy30,000 NOTES
nthspace Adelaide
Until 16 Mar 2019

Review by Fran Edwards

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

This is a very unusual production in one of those quirky spaces that pop up for the Fringe. Written and performed by composer Josh Belperio and directed by his partner Matthew Briggs, the performance comes from the compulsive note-taking that Belperio has done for his entire life. Initially notes for reminders or ideas to be worked on, and then musical notes to be formed into compositions.

The performance space has notes – letters, emails, sticky notes and scores – covering all of the walls. As he talks about his life, Belperio indicates notes that represent certain periods of his life. As he does this, spots cleverly organized by Mark Oakley highlight the notes. As he explains his close relationship with his Nonna, his struggle with his sexuality and the inspirations behind his music, old videos of Beperio’s childhood play over the walls of notes.

His music, which we hear as his story unfolds, is haunting and emotional. It has been captured and delivered in surround sound by sound designer Neville Clark. Complete with string Quartet and 16-voice choir it is not played live but feels present.

Belperio confesses at the start that there are not, as he estimated, 30,000 notes in what he presents but about 16,000+. I say it is not the quantity but the quality that really matters and that is evident. Belperio has an engaging way and a shy smile that draws the audience in and makes his story very real. The inspiration which comes from love and loss can touch everyone and he has poured this into his music.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)