Time Machine

Adelaide Festival

Her Majesty’s Theatre

15th March


This performance by Elizabeth Streb and Streb Extreme Action is a retrospective of the works devised by its founder, Elizabeth Streb. Bearing in mind that this was a fairly short production, about 50 minutes, it was full of energy and great athleticism and one felt exhausted just watching the continuous high-level dancing and action, as you would expect from an extreme physical theatre production.

The performers are known as Action Heros, which no doubt appealed to the younger members of the audience, who made up a good proportion of the gathered.

These short works utilised several props, from the half wheel as illustrated above, to a large trampoline with a good number of very thick landing mats. These proved to be vital to the production as nearly every work involved a great reliance on them, especially as the cast were required to land repeatedly throughout the evening flat on their front.

In many ways, this was an issue, the constant jumping or falling onto the mats with great force became somewhat repetitive, particularly in the final trampoline sequence.

That is not to denigrate from the amazing skill and athleticism demonstrated by all the “action heroes” throughout the show, not only in the physical aspects, but equally in the impeccable timing, without which, the show could not function.

Physical theatre demands that performers demonstrate remarkable physical feats combined with dance and in this respect the performance was a complete success. From the reaction of the younger audience members, this is what mattered most.

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