Ethan Switch - Saturday, 6 May 2006
Walking in the kick of sheep is enough to keep an empty seat from being so. From Martin Place to Broadway, a jog is not in order and the ride to freeze over the air conditioning par for the rush. No names, none whatsoever and the ding dong ding dong call for the upstairs clears out the waffling foyer. Downstairs and a student from Heartbreak High is in the throng.
Silence throws up an interesting audio for the opening minute. A head long slurry into the effects of water and the new horizon. Ymma the Princess and Agnes the Maid are quick to set out the scene for their predicament. A predicament that sees the princess betrothed to a young warrior, One yet on the verge of puberty. Or just on, the distinction isn't too crystal.
Clashes between beliefs in the pagan gods of the Vikings and the lord and savoury one, Jesus Christ, provide a lot of the continuing humour in and up the footsteps of the intrepid band of travellers. Battling hard and earnestly, the priest and his pupil, Lord Silence, mark a pair on the straight and curve.
Ethelred the King is one masterful orator. A strong commander and becoming of a grand steed that it's no wonder the man is King of an empire. This despite the image in the first act of a quivering wimp in bed sheets, not unlike the dying days of Howard Hughes in tissue boxes. Quite a shift in his demeanour over the stare in the interval.Going insane and coming to terms with a loss will do that.
Always around in the background and hovering to the side at the fore, Eadric Longshaft has some choice undergarment attire. Pulleys work close to this sort of feat and the squirting of oils harbours on the slightly psychedelic reasoning.
Rarely lingering, the first half of the night flies with crafty lines and carving out the mind in a swift motion of the blade and spit. At times absurd and ludicrous, the action in dialogue is engaging and rapid, lest be done the way side of wallowing contemplation.
Nudity? There are bare chests and thankfully only partly bare bottoms on display. Done away with the rampant sexuality of flashing for the sake of dancing in pearls, the shock value of their presence weighs out against the context of their reveal.
Second, and from the return in a change of set, the mood of the entire production shifts toward a darker place. Still keeping with the light in their follies and finding the best of things, it creeps ever more into the shadows. Time in a cave for shelter responsible in bringing out ghosts and the demons of the past.