Void Without Void

 serious theatre’s latest installation production defies time and heightens the senses through immersion in ‘perceptual deprivation’. This is a sound, darkness and puppetry performance worth experiencing. 

Presented by: serious theatreVenue: The Street Theatre, Canberra
Review Date: Wednesday 9 November 2011
Void Without VoidThe last production of 2011 from the ‘Made In Canberra’ program, Void Without Void creates a space for individual audience members to define their own narrative by interaction, with space and the single reference point of another. Through the use of light, darkness and the exceptionally produced sound (Libby Kerr) we encounter ourselves in the void.
Barb Barnett (Director) references ‘redshift’, “when light coming from an object is proportionally increased in wave length, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum”, as the springboard for this fascinating and genuinely uncomfortable production. In fact, uncomfortable in a range of varying degrees is how best to describe this production. The discomfort is rarely painful, but at every level of experience is fascinating.
In this one person performance, Cathy Petocz (Performer) manages the range of technical skills as though there are two. Moving between aerial, illusion and puppetry throughout the performance is commendable but not without experience. Petocz’s performance skills also include Butoh inspired theatre, physical theatre and a recording artist. 
Barnett brings years of experience in this field of theatre, which is evident in the environment created that engenders the audience’s trust from the outset. While the production of some elements dance between the two polls of 60’s sci-fi and the highest professionalism, this creates a familiarity within the entirely unfamiliar. It’s as though the void Barnett, Petocz and Gillian Schwab (lighting designer) create engenders the same elements that made us fear the dark as a child. It is not the dark we actually fear, but the ‘unknowing’ from the isolation that darkness creates.
IN THE FOYER: The most fascinating response was an audience member’s experience upon leaving the performance, in “carrying the sensation of floating through time as though it were no longer relevant”. Others discussed the re-sensitising of their senses to their environment. Void Without Void provides the safe environment to explore these fundamental experiences of being human, whether in space or in the local shopping centre or lounge room. Definitely worth experiencing.
NOTE: This production may not be appropriate for those who suffer from claustrophobia or light induced epileptic fits. Check with the box office when booking your ticket.
Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th November The Street Theatre, Canberrawww.thestreet.org.au

Dene KermondAussieTheatre.com Canberra Coordinator Dene has over 25 years experience in Australian theatre and screen as an actor, director and lecturer. Credits include Muriel’s Wedding, Les Miserables (Cameron Macintosh), All My Sons (Sydney Theatre Company), Waiter’s On Tap and ANZ ‘security campaign’. He is currently writing and directing for his own company, Slap.

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