Presented by The Package Creative Team
Reviewed 14 March 2017
The Package uses mask, puppetry, physical theatre and music to represent an elderly woman who reminisces on the complexities of her life through sex, love and childbirth. Plays with these stylised elements need to be slick and thoroughly choreographed in order to be successful – especially with a small cast like this. Unfortunately this production appears under-rehearsed and slow, making it difficult to enjoy or recommend.
Katelnd Griffin performs well as The Old Woman using her posture and props to maintain the character. The mask she wears to age her is high quality and very stylised. Kristy Schubert and Robbie Hoad appear in several different roles and these experiences vary. Their facials are generally enjoyable but their actions often seem messy and totally unchoreographed even to the point of bumping into the set at times. Schubert’s puppet work seems to lack life and there is an awkward disconnect between puppeteer and puppet although this could be because of the staging. Both Hoad and Schubert suffer from the concept of the piece as their purpose is incredibly unclear.
The story is easy to follow but it struggles greatly with pacing as the hour run-time feels more like two. Each step of the story is accompanied with excessive box moving or an unexplained and repeated doctor sequence that only serves to confuse the message of the story. In the end, that message is hard to identify and the show finishes without bringing forth a clear purpose.
A trio of musicians is set to the side of the stage and their musicianship is good. Unfortunately they are matched with pre-recorded tracks which either drowns them out or mismatches with what they are playing to make a cacophonous and unpleasant sound. Similarly the projections are uneven and the transition from one scene to another is jarring.
Perhaps this show would be smoother in a different venue but attempts to fit this show in the Bakehouse Mainstage render it seeming sloppy. The physical elements of this production are of a high quality but the cast struggle in execution. The quick turnaround in the Bakehouse venue may have affected their ability to polish but what is presented is hard to enjoy.
Reviewed by Nathan Quadrio
Rating out of 5: 2.5
Venue: The Bakehouse Mainstage
Season: March 14th – March 18th
Duration: 60 mintues
Tickets: $10.50 – $20