This show has been put on by the Arrive. Devise. Repeat (ADR) Collective, formed in 2015. They specialise in creating work as an ensemble. Their first production was a stage adaptation of Albert Camus’ classic novel The Outsider at the Sydney Fringe Festival. The joint devisers and performers were Ryan Devlin, Patrick Howard, Jacqueline Marriott and Victor Kalka.
For their second production they have taken on one of the big subjects, mortality; how we deal with death, essentially from two perspectives; those deaths which we have to deal with and face in our private/personal lives, and those deaths of celebrities which are announced through the wide range of news services which are now at everybody’s fingertips.
In a wise move, considering the heavy nature of the material, the Ensemble presented their show in a very appealing, informal, warm and relaxed way. A small table was set up to the side of the stage with an urn, coffee and tea bags and milk. People were welcome to grab a cuppa.
The show was divided into four very clearly divided Acts, and there was a short break between each of these Acts. The performers walked around the audience offering treats from their respective biscuit trays.
I enjoyed the troupe’s down to earth, unadorned style of performance. They played themselves, wore ordinary clothes, didn’t wear any make up, and ‘got down’ to sharing their experiences, their thoughts and anecdotes, relating to the ‘grim reaper’.
My heartstrings were pulled, at times, during the show, and I am sure that this was also the case for others in the audience. Anecdotes about those dark days when iconic celebrities such as Princess Diana and David Bowie died. And then there were the more personal deaths, such as Victor recounting the time when he went to Germany to visit his grandmother only to go into her bedroom one day to find her passed away in her bed.
The show ended on an appropriately reflective note. The audience drifted off as the performers hugged each other and quietly chatted amongst themselves.
One can say a lot of things about death, much more than can be encapsulated in a single theatre performance. My thought to share…death has, and always will have, the power to take one’s breath away. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, when you hear that someone close to you has died, one’s jaw just drop, one’s world, for a time, falls apart.
GOTTERDAMMERUNG (Twilight Of The Gods) played for only two performances, on the 3rd and 6th July, at the Kings Cross Theatre, Level 2, the Kings Cross Hotel. Hopefully this warm, intimate, unembellished theatrework will have further productions/incarnations not too long in the future.