by Lisa Allan

Dayna Sanerivi in  Sky of Cloudy Stars. Photo by Bex McDonnell.

The stage is split in two. Sky, the protagonist, is also split in two.

There is the courageous version of Sky. She performs and regales the audience with tales from her life. She recalls fond memories of her father and how she got her start as a musician. She shares herself openly with her fans and they love her for her bravery, her vulnerability and her altruistic, playful, loving nature.

Then there is the fearful version of Sky. She hides herself away in a dark abode, drinking, doubting and telling a different childhood story. This is one where her father abandoned her and her relationship with her mother is fragile. Sometimes angels fall

This show is the first foray into acting for Dayna Sanerivi but she is no stranger to performance. Dayna has a career as a musician and she weaves her heartfelt songs into the show. Dayna is an incredibly likeable performer and she has a throng of supporters in the crowd who sing along with her at her invitation. I wanted to join them, oh for a sheet of music!

Dayna’s story is very sad. It threatens to swallow the entire stage and spill out, like a monster of depressive proportions, into the audience. The play reaches a point where I desperately crave an energetic shift. Something needs to happen to shake this sadness up and lift Sky onto her feet (please don’t let it end ‘the other way’ I chant inside myself- I am invested!). The script acknowledged this need through song… I’m tired of feeling broken…This is the turning point in the play. It is the most important part. If the piece is to be developed further then this particular point might be given some special attention. As an audience member, I want to see exactly what it was that flicked the switch inside of Sky. Why did she, in that particular moment, decide to come out? Perhaps what I was hoping for was a bubbling up of the emotion that Sky had repressed, had hidden away for so very long. It could be something small. Something to catalyse change and justify the beautiful moment where the courageous Sky crosses realms.

There were two parts of the show that were clear audience favourites. These were both skilful and humorous moments. The first was the In the bubble YouTube post and the other was the ex-boyfriend song. Excellent writing, delivered perfectly. 

A Sky of Cloudy Stars has a beautiful message. That our redemption lies within us, that we have the ability to save ourselves and that we are perfect as we are, right now. When we tell our stories, we heal the past. We can also create hope for others who connect with our experiences, offer them a hand and show them that the sky isn’t always going to be cloudy. The stars are there and it is possible to see them again.

This is a special show and I hope that Dayna continues to develop it and to create and share her gifts with many, many people. Thanks for coming out of ‘the bubble’ Dayna!

Sky of Cloudy Stars
by Trail of the Soul Ltd
Monday, 1st May, 2017
Nelson Fringe Festival
Refinery Artspace

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