FRINGE REVIEW: Out of the Cave
Standing on the steps of Freo’s oldest venue, a gorgeous, circular, limestone ‘house’, aptly named the Roundhouse I had no idea what awaited inside. My experience at Out of the Cave, Skylight Theatre Company’s devised social commentary, I can safely say, was the exact opposite of what many others who have graced those steps have experienced, and if life imprisonment meant watching this play a thousand times over I would be so there!
Upon entering the venue we were handed blankets to appease the howling winds, and waited eagerly for the actors to rouse from their states of tableau and teach us a thing or two about the issues facing the youth of Perth today. And teach us they did. Held captive by a stellar performance from actors barely older than myself the audience made its way to a house party with the works; strobe lights, illicit drugs, alcohol abuse and all. The actors, unlike the characters they played, did not dance around the problems at hand, but with a strong use of voice and physicality exposed the dangers teens face when they put themselves at risk. A particularly intimate scene depicting a romantic relationship used well executed movement to create a sense of primal connection, beyond words, a remarkable way to bridge the gap between audience and character. Human connection and the heartbreak that comes with it, it seems, are inescapable for all of us.
The audience learnt, in time, through the development of many relationships and friendships between the guys and girls, that it often takes a community to help one another recognise the way they affect those close to them, and the universe surrounding us. Superbly articulate performances all round lead the audience to a depth of understanding that could only be achieved by a cast that had felt the weight of an unstable world all too heavily.
A game show interrupts the dark atmosphere, easing the tension that is created by intimate theatre and pressing issues, with hosts Toto de Waele and Nelson Mondlane, slipping into a convincing ramble that is the trope of commercial television. 'How To Be A Homosapien’ is a fun, witty gimmick that brings to light the cold hard facts of issues teens are not only facing onstage, but in the world we live in, the messed up, beautiful place you and I, live in.
The show as a whole starts a controversial but essential conversation about issues that are rampant in our society today, and if you want to face reality this is the one for you. The only drawback to the venue was that some over-projecting, and exaggeration, incurred while the actors battled the gusts to have their voices heard, literally and figuratively. Not seeing this play is a punishable offence (canned laughter), so hurry on down to the Roundhouse this week from Monday to Saturday for a night at the theatre that will stay with you for many moons after.