Melbourne Festival: Marzo

So, there’s a Japanese samurai going all Noh, a Pink Power Ranger, the offspring triplets of a Telly Tubby and the Michelin Man, a bird (that I called Dick Face), and an inflatable starfish. Dewey Dell’s art-dance-theatre Marzo is weird. Really weird. Awesomely, fabulously, I-don’t-know-what-I-just-experienced weird!

Marzo. Photo by Ponch Hawkes
Marzo. Photo by Ponch Hawkes

Dewey Dell were formed in Italy in 2007 by Agata Castellucci, Demitrio Castellucci, Teodora Castellucci and Eugenio Resta. They now spend a lot of time at festivals all over the world. They created Marzo with Japanese director Kuro Tanio and costume designer Yuichi Yokoyama.

The process started as a story, but it isn’t on stage. The story is distilled to emotion; emotion that’s made into something physical with brain-pounding design, music, choreography and performance that work as one to ensure that what’s cohesive on the stage can be anything the audience want it to be.

There are surtitles, but they distract and really don’t help. However if you want to find the embryo of this marvel, it’s set on a crater of a distant planet where the life could be microscopic or giant; the thousands and thousands of years it takes their light to reach Earth, means that they could have already evolved into something unrecognisable or have been obliterated from the universe. Maybe. It’s also about war and fertility. I think.

It really doesn’t matter what it’s about. Marzo is pure experience and an interpretation of a reflection on human reaction to conflict is as cool as wondering why the dick-face bird is attacking the power ranger.

It’s intense, confusing and a like drinking a pint of undiluted red cordial and trying to stay still.

I know that some have hated it, and it’s close to that line that makes me wonder how or why it was made – but I couldn’t stop watching and I know that I’m going to be sad if I don’t see the inflatable telly-tubby-shagged-michelin-man triplets again.

Last chance to see it is tonight and Tuesday.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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