Last night I took part in the most beautiful and unique experience. Another Elusive Maybe, by Alysha Herrmann and Ryan Morrison. An experimental theatre piece that is basically modern life, amplified.
Nine people – performer and audience – sit in a suburban lounge room. We are ostensibly together, hearing the same words and seeing and doing the same things. We are intimate, and yet, we are isolated.
We wear headphones, with the soundtrack coming directly to each of us without interference. We read the musings in our handmade programs/zines. We receive texts from Alysha – some group messages, some personal. We engage in deeply personal conversation (or frivolous – it’s entirely up to you), via text, with someone sitting just a metre from us. Alysha has no idea whose number is whose, so there's no eye contact. But she does smile when she receives something funny. Her responses are insightful, and I found myself hungry for more and faster responses – for greater connection.
This highly original, interactive theatre is about community, loneliness and becoming a mother. The themes are diverse and overlapping, but at their heart relate to the human condition.
Merging spoken word with lush soundscapes, Ryan Morrison’s sound design takes you through feelings of relaxation, lightness, humour and distress, but never too acutely. The ‘set’ is a perfectly normal suburban lounge room, with natural lighting and comfy couches. Props and costumes are limited to household items and pyjamas.
Alysha and Ryan have produced a playful work that riffs on both the themes and the aspects of performance that interest them. They incorporate silent-disco style sound delivery, live text messaging, and even live breast pumping within a life-familiar but not theatre-familiar setting.
The three fringe performances of Another Elusive Maybe have finished, but the show can go on – in your own lounge room. If you want to host your very own ‘art party’, and experience this show for yourself, you can contact Alysha on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her website, alyshaherrmann.wordpress.com.
Amidst all the rabble about the true meaning of Fringe, I can tell you that this is it. Real art that pushes the boundaries – art that is completely different to anything you’ve experienced before.
Another Elusive Maybe is truly special. It’s an intimate and absorbing experience that cuts you off but leaves you wanting more.