Fringe World is back and in full swing once again, this is an incredible time of year for the Perth creative community. The city is vibrant and full of life with so much happening in venues all over Perth. At Subiaco Arts Centre last week, The Theatre Diary presented Confess, a show that had Perth beating into its heart and soul.
“Confess is a verbatim, physical theatre piece that takes the verbatim confessions of Perth and physically explores them, in depth, through snapshots and full-length scenes.”
I was immensely intrigued by the idea of this show when I found out about it. The thought that the performers went out and interviewed people from Perth, and got their confessions, I found quite fascinating. I also couldn’t wait to see how the confessions flowed within the show.
“The Theatre Diary carried out vox-pop interviews, surveys, and research to collate Perth’s most hidden confessions. We categorized and refined the confessions we obtained, until we had our select few that made the final cut for the production. We wrote a narrative based on one of our favourite confessions and we developed characters and storylines based on other confessions.
We asked Perth to anonymously confess their hidden secrets … and this is what we got. From dark thoughts, and twisted beliefs, to sexual confessions … ‘Confess’ shows you the unknown side to the people of Perth. Your neighbor; your work colleague; your mother; your son; your brother … Perth these are your confessions.”
Every confession used that night was completely true and authentic, and boy were some of them at little out there. One lady confessed to laying out 50-cent coins on her bed and then rolling over them to help de-stress. Then there was the gentleman who pretended to be an employee at Dick Smith so that he could try to talk a customer out of buying a product that he wanted to buy. There were also the suspected ones about cheating, and not being happy with their relationship confessions. All were unique and I think were handled well, considering they were telling someone else’s secrets.
The physicality of the performance was fantastic, from the slow motion fight scenes, to them sweeping up flower petals, all of it had a purpose within the story and pulled in the audience. The audience interaction was also great and very simple, no one was afraid to be called upon because we didn’t have to call anything out just let them know that we acknowledged what was happening, which was great.
The overlapping storyline was also compelling, because we didn’t realise at the time that it was the same characters appearing (because of the way scenes would jump about depending on the confession being portrayed), so that was a great moment when that was revealed.
Gregory Ryan’s performance was fantastic, he was the standout of the evening, and his physicality and personality were perfection. He was also the Artistic Director, Writer and Producer, so Confess couldn’t have happened without his influence, and we are fortunate that it did.
Teegan Dean’s performance, especially her versatility with using a vase of flowers to convey her character’s emotions, was incredible and haunting. I definitely connected with a few of the characters and confessions she portrayed.
Last but certainly not least, Connor Humm, his character was integral to the overlying story and he pulled it off perfectly.
Fringe World will be taking place all over Perth until the 19th of February. Check out the Fringe website to find out about all the amazing performances.