Close-Act Raises the Heat in Toronto

The Dutch Outdoor Theater Company, Close-Act, is one of the most inventive – literally putting a theater spectacle right among the show-goers. The costumes, make-up, music, and great rotating metal skeleton machines add to the showmanship. And for the second time in four years, Close-Act is featured at the Winter City Festival in Toronto. Its almost as if all you have to do is to wander down to Nathan Phillips Square on Feb 6th or 7th, 2009 by 7:00PM and not get trampled during all the machinations in the show.

Red Machinations

The latest Close-Act show is entitled Pi-Leau and portrays a water world post global warming of the Arctic glaciers. Now the Dutch whohave reclaimed much land from the North Sea and are only a few metres above sea level for large tracts of their countryside – they are very conscious of the potential effects of global warming. So the Pi-Leau vision of a future water incursion is very real to them – and it has a beauty and  beastliness  straight out of WaterWorld. There is a constant theme of red figures drumming and spurting through the waters now that now virtually cover the audience and the City Square. Everything is now swimming or on stilts.

One of the Broken Continental Icesheets 

Throughout the show the music and action alternates between isolated islands and schools of  fish and jellyfish  and caustic red fierce riders straight out of a MadMax world on water. The costumes, flares, and make-up of the players add to the sense of a lurking malfeasance not wanted yet not totally unavoidable.

Scarlet Foreboding

There are many red caustic images in this show there are reminders of Kevin Costner’s WaterWorld imagery – especially the use of flippered sea-goers and great whales. But the mood is menacing and well conveyed with the use of dramatic lighting, smoke spewing red and white flares, and loud beating drums. The tale is moral and apocalyptic, the sound and vision Sturm und Drang – and the ending – ambivalent.

Ogres, like Girls, just wanna have fun.
However for photographers this is must see and click – the number of great shots available are very great indeed.