Tuesday, June 27, 2023

IN HIS WORDS - Voices of Fatherhood.


Brett Williams and Creswick during "In His Words".

Created by Creswick – Stage Direction by Caroline Stacey

Stage Design by Imogen Keen – Lighting Design by Antony Hateley

Audio by Kimmo Vennonen – Film Directed, filmed and edited by Creswick.

Performed by Creswick, Brett Williams, Chris Pound, Ben Hauptmann, James Hauptmann

Street Theatre June 23 – 25th 2023.

Performance on June 24th reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.

Brett Williams (piano) - Creswick (keyboards) - James Hauptmann (drums) - Ben Hauptmann (Guitar) - Chris Pound (Bass) in "In His Words".

This beguiling reverie exploring the state of fatherhood is the brainchild of composer/musician/videographer, Creswick (a.k.a. Liam Budge), inspired by his own experience, but told through the musings of nine fathers, both young and not so.

Drawing on the mentorship of the Street Theatre’s Early Phase Development Project, Creswick honed his idea to bring it fruition, composing the songs, filming the interviewees, then finally, performing the show himself.   

Having overcome the major problem of locating fathers willing to share their thoughts and experiences, the resultant interviews were then filmed, with each interviewee captured in his own environment, relaxed and unself-conscious, often interacting with his progeny.

These segments are beautifully filmed, revealing, funny, perceptive, inspiring, often unexpectedly moving. Skilfully edited they form a captivating visual component for an engrossing live theatre experience, sensitively directed by Caroline Stacey.

Brett Williams (piano) - Creswick (keyboard) -James Hauptmann (drums) - Ben Hauptmann (guitar)
Chris Pound (double bass) in a moment during "In His Words".

Positioned centre stage, Creswick was surrounded by four highly skilled musicians in Brett Williams (piano & keys), Chris Pound (Bass), Ben Hauptmann (Guitars) and James Hauptmann (Drums) situated  among Imogen Keen’s remarkable abstract setting which itself was dominated by a large video screen hung above the musicians and softened by the addition of a vertical string sculpture suggesting the strings of a piano.

A striking figure with long flowing hair and barefooted throughout, Creswick sat at a keyboard surrounded by his four musical associates. He listened with rapt attention while the father’s shared their stories, nodded encouragement whenever his colleagues contributed a superb solo subtly showcased in Antony Hateley’s glowing lighting or gently faded from view when the videos required the attention of the audience.    

As Kimmo Vennenon’s superb audio design highlighted the virtuosity of each musician, particularly the remarkable piano skills of Brett Williams, the performance became an aural and visual feast, blemished only in those moments when Creswick’s vocal stylings compromised the clarity of his lyrics, depriving his audience full entrée to the depth of his very personal responses to the revelations of his interviewees.

Whether attracted by the topic or the music, “In His Words” offers a unique, highly accessible and brilliantly executed insight into a life’s experience too few men take the time to relish. How special to be provided with this delightful reminder to reflect on your own. 

                                                   Images by Creswick Collective   

This review also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW.  www.artsreview.com.au