Monday, March 4, 2019





Gravity and Other Myths. Directed by Darcy Grant. Scott Theatre. Adelaide Festival 2019. February 27 – March 6. 2019.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

Like an astronaut floating in space, I am blown away by Gravity and Other Myths new out of this world show, Out Of Chaos. I have seen it all before, the gymnastics, the tumbling, the balancing the hula hooping and the sinewy feats of muscular strength. But never like this. Never with such daring, such trust, such humour and such graceful, elegant anddisciplined control.The show’s  unostentatious seeming simplicity conceals the enormous complexity of its art   Gravity and Other Myths take circus and acrobatics to  a new echelon, a stellar spectacle of gravity defying artistry. The timing is daring, risk- taking and defies not only gravity but the gasping risk of danger. One slip, one lapse of steely concentration, one perilous distraction and life and limb pay the perilous price. There is no net to break the fall, no soft surface on the hard stage floor.

The lady next to me covers her mouth in fearful anticipation as a performer is flung high into the air across the stage, only to land safely in the arms of  companions. The performance transcends the dispassionate display of acrobatic skill. We watch a dance, transported with each breath into a world of wonder. Timing is all and we are carried along by the dance, floating with the performers through the air, reaching for the sky as we watch the three high dissolve before our eyes. The stage becomes a swirling kaleidoscope of terpsichorean patterns, weaving and intertwining as bodies tumble and fly, hurled through the air or swung in revolving the lighting  flows with its own colourful dance of son et lumiere.

Suddenly the pattern breaks and the MC  thrusts his microphone into the faces to record their impressions of the moment. It is the moment to catch the breath and for an instant  to show us that these are ordinary people performing extraordinary feats of strength and agility. Only one member of the company spoke with clarity and many of the throw away comments were lost. Perhaps I had hoped for the same precision of pronunciation that I was witnessing in their precisely rehearsed and marvellously performed physical theatre.

All that aside, I remained mesmerized by the hula hoop duet, the flinging and the perfectly choreographed sequences, the clarity and exactness of control, executed with finely honed practice, combined with a touch of unostentatious showmanship. The pizzazz is understated and unnecessary. true talent needs no excess and Out of Chaos restores equilibrium and harmony to time and space.

This is one of those unblemished gems that sparkles with its own brilliance in a festival of jewels. Standing ovations too often come with undeserved ease. The spontaneous standing ovation at the end of Out of Chaos  is testimony enough to the magical spell cast over young and old members of an entranced audience.