Roots – 1927 – Melbourne International Arts Festival

two fish skit as part of roots by 1927 - mixed media theatre

Roots – 1927 – Melbourne International Arts Festival

My expectations were quite high for the performance of Roots by the 1927 theatre company as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

For anyone who has caught a show by 1927, the mere mention of the English theatre company is enough to light up the eyes.

Melbourne International Arts Festival

It was an incredibly delightful hour and a bit of rich storytelling. The spectacle is a mix of human actors and musicians, playing in front of, or within video projection and light art.

The cat who ate the world – Roots – 1927

The show started with a very interesting and humorous poem about a cat who progressively ate porridge, the ladle, the bowl, his mistress, a bag of Christmas post, the postman, a school full of children and teachers, a schoolboy, all the people in hell, the devil himself, all the people in heaven and the world itself. You get the idea. The illustrations in the video art were beautiful, and the audience laughed and laughed as this fat cat got fatter and fatter.

The rest of the folk tales were sometimes irreverent and sometimes fun. Some of them really touched the core of my heart and made me consider common humanity. The stories were from a pre-industrial age when life was simpler.

melbourne international arts festival - roots - 1927 - comedy, video art and theatre combined

There were only four actors and four musicians in the entire show, who changed costumes and characters through a series of short stories. It was amazing to see just how many different instruments each musician could play and to marvel at the talent of the actors, who used their faces to convey the most poignant of human emotions.

It really was delightful, creative and interesting. Highly recommended.

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