Perth Festival Review: "Lé Nør" is mind-blowing
Simply put, Lé Nør is one of the coolest things I have seen on stage. This is an extremely creative and playful original production that never loses your attention across its 1.5 hours.
Walking into the PICA Performance Space, a black box theatre in the Perth Cultural Centre, audiences are immediately met with in-character actors lounging about the stage, warming up or just wandering about. What followed was a sort of hybrid between theatre and film- a faux foreign language film performed on stage. The performers took turns filming each other, with the resulting “film” broadcasted onto a projector centre stage, so that audiences could watch both the film and how each shot was made. The production utilises inventive camera angles, rotating sets, miniatures and lighting design, amongst other techniques. Some of the shots were mind boggling, some were hilarious in the disconnect between what was shown and how it was made.
“Lé Nør” translates to “the rain” in the Sólset language- a fictional island nation plagued by environmental catastrophe. The fictional language the production is performed in (with English surtitles) is an amalgamation of various languages, including French, Russian and Icelandic. The island was once a thriving population but is now home to only a small population that have been waiting for years for rain to arrive, surviving only on water rations in the meantime. At the centre of the production are the residents of an apartment block, as they relate to each other and themselves.
What makes Lé Nør particularly special isn’t just the slick 80s aesthetic or the interesting concept. The fantastic script and performances elevate the film from a clever gimmick to something nothing short of spectacular. You know you are onto a real winner when the production would still hold up if it was simply either a film or theatre experience. The story is moving and gripping, the characters are likeable and realised beautifully, and the stylistic choices are all appropriately adapted to bring everything to life. A huge array of individuals went into realising this production such that acknowledging every single individual would be very difficult but suffice to say everyone involved nailed it. To make things better, The Last Great Hunt are Perth-based!
Finding the words to describe Lé Nør is a very difficult task, it just needs to be seen to comprehend. I was left in awe, and I keep finding things to dwell on the more I think about it. This is cannot be missed to all lovers of film or theatre, or just anyone looking to have their mind blown.