By Lisa Allan
It is not a massive crowd that has turned up for Evolution Revolution, but it is a very appreciative one. KidznTeentheatre have come over the hill from Golden Bay to share an original piece of physical theatre. They are a group of young people and have created this show themselves, under the direction of their extracurricular and extraordinary drama teacher, Ronnie Short.
Many hours have obviously been spent creating this piece and this is evidenced by the focus of the performers, the complexity of their use of a shadow screen, the emotional investment in the work, the beautiful story and the synchronicity of the technical with the live action.
The soundtrack, a dominant aspect of the show, immediately invokes imagery that compliment the visuals unfolding on stage and together, they take us on a journey from the beginning of time to the present day- through evolution to revolution!
As a lover of physical theatre, this show is right up my alley. Seeing bodies working together to create shapes and meaning, to tell a story, is one of my most favourite things in the world. This troupe do an excellent job of finding ways to communicate in a non-traditional way. Their set is a large screen that divides the stage into ‘in front of the screen’ and ‘behind the screen’ spaces. We see an enactment of the Maori origin story, including the separation of Papatuanuku and Ranginui, and from here we are treated to a series of snippets that traverse our time on Earth and utilise one or both of these spaces.
Things from the piece that remain with me even now (a week on) are the slowly moving, two person snail, the shadows of Stonehenge, the recitation of Shakespeare’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’, the connection between the performers and the dedication that they have to the work, the profound and courageous message that love is the revolution that will shift us from darkness to light, the free hugs and finally, the generous, open-hearted, hope-gifting gesture of the troupe of young people surprising their teacher with a bunch of flowers and a public recognition of her work.
As this company develops, it might be interesting to bring in someone trained in acrobalance for a workshop or two. The shapes that result from a skill base in this arena could take your physical theatre explorations to a whole new place! I know that when companies that I have worked with on shows of this nature have delved into acrobalance we have opened up a whole new world of physical possibilities. The sky is the limit when that door gets opened!
Evolution Revolution is a working demonstration of the revolution of love in action. I know that people in the audience were moved to tears. I was too. We joyously shed them and thank this company for sharing themselves and their inspiring message with us all. The future looks great guys!