Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 3rd October 2017
The End features Hatsune Miku who is an internationally renown pop star with fans across the globe, including the show’s composer Keiichiro Shibuya. Shibuya transforms the star into a feature length digital production that follows the themes the title implies by using the humble nature of Miku and her cute sidekick to confront humanity, existence and death.
The End sells itself as the ‘world’s first virtual opera’ achieved through a ‘complex multipedia stage setting’. The screen set up is impressive and unique with four main screens layered around each other and a few smaller screens inserted inside the 3D set up, which provides contrast in size and density of the digital design.
The main experiences in this show are definitely the visual and audio components. They are incredibly layered with an extensive amount of detail contained within the production. The music is a blend of multiple classical and modern electric styles, along with the occasional and annoyingly familiar ring tones. The sounds cut through and at times add confusion that is matched by the flickering on the screens.
The screen display is a indepth production with that uses complete stillness and darkness to distinguish between both the scenes and the insane amount of light and colour that bounces off the screens. The end result is an experimental and complex cinematic experience.
Some of the flow in the lyrics was distracted at times by the translated English subtitles that read literal rather than in a poetic manner. Also, the final scene felt forced, particularly compared to the the penultimate one which cast a dreamlike, open source of information prior to the last one outright stating the questions that were already well implied. This is a rather minor point in the complete production.
Overall, it is a show unlike any other I have seen. It is difficult to place the production in a single genre as it is a cross mix of kitsch pop anime and high end art, along with a complex arrangement of different disciplines. There are also many aspects within the intricate show that are outside my knowledge set, particularly the finer tuned electronic and digital set arrangements, so are difficult to provide a more technical critic. Despite this, it was still an intense digital-audio experience.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Venue: Dunstan Place House, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 3rd-4th October 2017
Duration: 1 hour 25 mins
Tickets: $30.00 – $49.00