Adelaide Festival: Nufonia Must Fall

Nufonia Must Fall. Photo by AJ Korkidakis, Adelaide Festival of Arts
Nufonia Must Fall. Photo by AJ Korkidakis, Adelaide Festival of Arts

Nufonia Must Fall is a clever, engaging fusion of film making, puppetry, live music and DJ mixing. It is a complex multi genre production that tells the moving story of how an out-dated robot and a young (mathematician-inventor) woman get together.

Through projection from on stage filming of puppets coming to life, as puppeteers move them within stunning miniature sets, we see the extraordinary (seemingly) fully edited end result acted out superbly on the big screen in front of us.

The puppets are so affecting when performed, and the work of the puppeteers so finely executed, that we utterly believe the white doll-like character’s and the other world that they live in. Puppets they may well be, but we feel the sadness, loneliness and love in the poignant romantic story. And the creative process on stage to reach the viewed result on-screen is a show in itself. It’s intricate and precise, and what comes from it – theatrically and emotionally satisfying.

Accompanied by exquisite sound mixing, composing and voice over from ‘Kid Koala’ and top class music from the Afiara String Quartet, we rocket from the quiet and sensitive to the intense, frightening and overwhelming.

[pull_left]This exciting new work shows real genius[/pull_left]

Film in theatre isn’t new. Making and projecting it with (hand-operated) puppets in tiny sets, before the audience is, I think (for me it was). It takes a little while to work out who is doing what. But we get it fast, and that’s part of the fun, and we are intrigued at how it all comes together so well.

The puppeteers, sets and filming are centre stage, as they should be; for it is the craftsmanship in this aspect of the production that is most breathtaking. We watch it being made and it’s amazing.

Nufonia, makes one think about how our current whizz-bang technical world can add to, affect, and enhance the theatre experience and its appeal and interest completely transcends audience age.

This show, well directed by K.K. Barrett is so now in its’ experimental approach to performance and its’ blend of creative forms; and judging by the strong contingent of hipster types and geeks in the house, it has a real “now” appeal too. Eric San (alias Kid Koala) is the creator of this masterful production, and deserves all the accolades that he receives. This exciting new work shows real genius . . . seriously.

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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