Air play

Air Play {at the Arts Centre Melbourne}

Air Play, as its very name suggests, is a show that takes its cues from aerial mischief.

When: 18-22 January 2017, various times

Where:  State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, St Kilda Road MELBOURNE

Cost:  $27-44, book tickets here

Many thanks to contributor Thuy On for attending on behalf of Meetoo and preparing this fabulous review!

New York performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone work in perfect harmony as siblings who commandeer lightweight props with cheekiness and humour.

Large swathes of red and gold fabric (cleverly mimicking the colours of the cavernous State theatre) are blown into the air by a circle of fans. Luckily, the theatre’s ceilings are very high so the effect is quite spectacular. The sheer material dance solo and then intertwine. Like rising flames or eerie jellyfish they are breathtakingly beautiful to look at but in this wordless (and necessarily physical performance), the ever-changing soundtrack soon swings to a more upbeat tempo.

The duo clown around in mock sibling rivalry, playing with dozens of balloons and then a single feather, which they try to keep blowing to keep afloat. Dressed in yellow and red with the same bright primary palette for their suitcases, Bloom and Gelsone’s spectacle is simple but effective. Colour, light, movement and music are combined and the result will please audiences of all ages.

On opening night a preschooler and a middle-aged man were cajoled on stage for audience participation and both seemed charmed by the request to net some freewheeling small balloons.

But really, who wouldn’t get a thrill from seeing hundreds of packing peanuts and glittery confetti spin in the air like a giant snowstorm? Or a massive sheet of plastic transformed into a gale that can entrap a man? Or the billowing sails of a sheet turned into a kite? Or if you like slapstick fare, enormous balloons that can swallow a body entirely (wait, just wait, for the inevitable pop after one too many bounces).

Lyrical and mesmerising at one beat, absurd and surreal, at another, Air Play is a wonder to experience.

Air Play is a comic adventure suitable for all ages. However, when purchasing your tickets please be mindful that this performance includes loud noises, quiet reflective moments, bright lights and many moving objects.  The performance lasts for about an hour and doesn’t have an interval.