Presented by Kate McDowell
Reviewed 27 February 2015
Icarus Falling is an intriguing offering from Australian performer and poet Scott Wings. His style was highly interactive, often breaking the forth wall to discuss the play with the audience. He was also physically active, fully inhabiting the sparse stage.
His rendition of the Greek myth of Icarus was guided by a modern sense of honesty and emotional pain. He created an intriguing and, at times, comedic dialogue between Icarus and his father Daedalus, while they were trapped inside King Minos’ labyrinth. Incapable of escape and growing ever more isolated, tensions ran high. Eventually Daedalus constructed wings and escaped, leaving his son behind. As Wings explained, sometimes parents just leave. This abandonment pushed Icarus to suicidal thoughts of falling, though his fate is ultimately left unclear.
The latter half of the play degenerated into a series of avant-garde, expressionist poems fuelled by depression. With only a tangible connection to the Icarus myth left, Wings dedicated his full talents to live reading. Lines that reverberated inside my head included: “My wings are made from the bones of old poems”. While evocative, his poetry was also overwhelmingly emotive and left at least one audience member concerned for Wings’ well being.
I feel that Icarus Falling has been somewhat misrepresented. Its Fringe page stresses the comedy elements that are dispensed with early in the piece. If it were rebranded as an exploration of depression, and not comedy-infused mythology, audiences would be better prepared to enjoy and appreciate the show.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Rating out of 5: 3.5
Venue: Tuxedo Cat – Cusack Theatre, 54 Hyde Street, Adelaide
Season: 26 February – 15 March 2015
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $15.00 – $21.00
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)