Tuesday, October 20, 2015

To Break - a Wild West performance where nothing is as it seems (MAC 20-21 Oct) #BelFest

To Break is an enchanting piece of international performance theatre. Without words, but not without a sumptuous sound track and background sounds. When Robbert & Frank / Frank & Robbert go searching for material, they look for heavy pieces of wood, chunky stuff that they can balance and roll and heave around.

Each heavy prop that is conveyed onto the stage introduces a new facet to the overall Wild West tableau. Some are multifunctional: reused and repurposed. Even the backdrop has a twist.

Pregnant pauses allow the audience to imagine what will happen next … but never correctly! While starting simply, the complexity of the action builds up until a trolley full of contraptions is wheeled on stage. Donald Rumsfeld even makes an appearance.
“The time has come to break the window of opportunity …”

While rarely leaning too far over the line into clowning, the pair of Belgiam performers quietly send up acrobats, dancers and strong men with their balancing, transitioning from pose to pose, and acts of precision and control while bearing hefty weights. Not to mention their habit of staring out into the soul of the audience members.

And it keeps alive a tradition started two years ago at Pending Vote of Belfast Festival shows in which it snows! Sixty minutes of visual alchemy … and their cute trees are on sale after the show.

To Break has one more performance left on Wednesday 21 October at the MAC as part of Belfast International Arts Festival.

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