Saturday, October 26, 2019



Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker.  Nexus Arts. Lion Arts Centre. OzAsia Festival.
October 23 – 27 2019.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

I arrive at the Nexus Arts venue to be given a plastic raincoat and a warning that therew ill be water thrown over the audience.  As I approach the entrance I am told by one of the company that the floor will be very wet and I should remove my shoes and socks. I am obviously in for an immersive experience, but nothing could have prepared me for the mind-spinning, sound blasting whirlwind of colour and a hurricane of dance and song. This is a dreamscape that runs off the rails of the imaginable, a kaleidoscope of frenzy and sheer electrifying parade of the possessed.
Wilder than the Tokyo Shock Boys, more magnetizing than Miko, the cast of twenty five bombard the small Nexus Art stage in front of rolling images of incandescent screaming fans at a ritual of chaotic revelry, incited to mad abandonment by Miss Revolutionary Idol Beserker in rainbow coloured outfit and zany headdress the mistress of the madness, the priestess of pure fantasy with her coterie of cultural anarchists.
We sit on benches as the fantasy fractures the space with wild uninhibited revellers. Is that Chewbaccah in centre stage. What is a panda doing in the midst of the dancers. What electricity courses through the veins of exuberant cheerleaders with waving glowsticks? Water leaps across the rows of seats, trickling down the plastic to the floor as showers of confetti slither through the water on the floor. Then suddenly they are there in the rows, their leotards decked with Christmas lights, goading us to scream “We want more” The urge to unison is compulsive. The chaos swells to perfect celebration of the anarchic, the rebellious devotees of Beserker. Normal theatre bears the weight of a new form. Ordered society is thrust into disorder. A still moment of song seduces us into a temporary relief before gyrating, contorted rebellion takes hold and colours swarm, songs blast the eardrums through the earplugs provided at the start. Tradition in the girl with the white face, or the naked man clothed only in the loin cloth of the Zumo wrestler or the demonically red face of the mythical ogre bursts in images amidst the furious cavalcade of fun and we are swept along by a company that takes us on a rollercoaster ride to fantastical possession. At its essence it is the anarchy of Butoh, the worship of liberation and the defiance of the conventional, the “normal” and the manacles of tradition. Ironically, it is also the art of a new tradition for a modern age, a celebration of rebirth, giving voice to the sheer joy and elation of a new generation.
An invitation to the audience to move on to the stage while the company takes up their positions in the audience is an invitation to morph into their world. The scene is set for a communion of spirit, a dance party to free the spirit. I can’t help but feel that the performers are having much more fun than the audience, who simply sit and let the mayhem swamp them with a melee of colour and sound and fun-fuelled confrontation.  In a larger space with an audience able to free their spirits and drown their inhibitions this would be a totally wild theatrical experience.
Is this the clarion call to youth around the world to fire the spirit and change the world. Butoh rose from the oppression of occupation. Totes Adorbsđź’—Hurricane under the control of Miss Revolutionary Idol Beserker is a rebellion that all should experience and participate in. Maybe then the young will have the spirit to change the world.