There’s a show that I think that should you get the chance, that you should go and see and it’s called Live Live Cinema.
I went to go and see it Friday before last and while it may not be open anymore, it’s worth talking about.
Created by Leon Radojkovic and directed by Oliver Driver, Live Live Cinema is where theatre and film meet. Take a film (a terrible vintage thriller), strip it of its sound and put it on stage with four actors, a band and a foley artist. The end product is stimuli overload. A crazy thing where what you’re used to just watching and accepting as it is what it is is dissected and spilled out to reveal all the complexity and skill laying behind it. In person, Live Live Cinema is slick, it’s enchanting, it’s a bizarre but enthralling experience.
I first saw Live Live Cinema Carnival of Soul’s back during the 2011 Auckland Arts Festival. That was before I’d made the jump to this blog and was writing odd bits and bobs and emotions over on tumblr. It was a highlight of the festival, something that had left me oohing and arrhing long after the show had closed. So when I saw that they were putting on a series of performances, with a new show added to the bill I had to go there.
Having already seen Carnival of Soul’s, this time I headed to Dementia 13. I decided to send myself in blind, all I knew was that it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and from the Lighting Designer that it was a pretty bad movie. And yeah, it is a bad movie. But with Live Live Cinema it is transformed. Leon Radojkovic leads a band which had shivers going down my spine, while the actors consisting of Fern Sutherland, Cameron Rhodes, Charlie McDermott have their timing down to a tee. Fern Sutherland was particularly impressive, being the only cast member to perform sans script.
Special attention must be paid to Gareth van Niekerk however. The foley artist. It’s not often that you get to see foley laid out in front of you and van Niekerk does an impressive job of filling out the space of the world. From footsteps to water droplets. With van Niekerk on display it makes me wonder why more plays don’t try to get live foley on stage.
Now before I continue I should say that I jump pretty easily, but Dementia 13, which probably would have had me laughing if I was to watch it straight, had me pretty damn scared. I don’t want to give away too much, but axes freak me out. And lighting designer, Sean Lynch’s insertion of red flashes of light at moments of high intensity had me jumping out of my seat, every, damn, time. The real sad part was that at the end, a watermelon is smashed with an axe on stage and I totally missed it because I was too scared and too wound up with the actual screen.
Live Live Cinema is pretty special and I would highly recommend it should you ever see it playing near you. Sure, there’s no future dates at the moment, but this show has been known to tour and fingers crossed, it won’t be gone for long!