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Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Sky Is Well Designed: Darebin Arts Speakeasy


The Sky Is Well Designed is a work of quiet conversations backed by dramatic ethereal sounds by writer/director Patrick McCarthy and musical instrument design composer Robert Jordan. As Artistic Director of Fabricated Rooms, Patrick McCarthy’s hyperrealist sound theatre season is part of the 2017 Darebin Arts Speakeasy project and the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Using live electronic score interspersed with conversations The Sky Is Well Designed “examines the ways in which our relationship to transience and nature is shifting amidst the dual forces of digital existence and climate change.”
Two scientific researchers Bear played by Emily Tomlins and Thomas played by Ben Pfeiffer are somewhere in the vast landscape of Australia, simulated by a pebble covered stage floor surrounded three sides by a sky canvas. Robert Jordan’s unique electronic equipment, transmitters and cables abound on benches that were used as they undertook various studies examining the musical qualities of electromagnetic energy.
Two lonely people play music together, rich, sensitive and at times overwhelming as they wait for the world to fall apart.
The notion of climate change, environmental decay is all there, but be sure to take in every conversation that surely would have given strength to the many variations of musical expression.
Sadly many explanatory and story conversations were lost to the audience as Bear and Thomas persistently faced upstage, across stage and with lower tones, almost whispering left us picking up fragments. We welcomed them coming downstage and facing us with parts of their dialogue.
– Review by Graeme McCoubrie

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