By: Feb. 16, 2018
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Review: SEVEN at MYSTORIN Before I begin trying to describe the experience of SEVEN, I need to give the non Israeli reader some context regarding the space the piece takes place in.

You don't have to spend more than a couple of weeks in Israel to know of the new Central Station building in Tel Aviv. It's named "new", but it was built in 1993 as a refuge from what is now referred to as the "old" central station - a couple of platforms out in the street with no cover from the rain or the blistering heat of summer. When the new building opened - a shining monster of 7 floors of pale marble and glass, it was filled with the hopes of the planners for a luxurious station which will serve people from all over the world in extreme modern comfort. The building was soon filled top to bottom with shops and businesses to serve the massive foot traffic and became a shining beacon of progress and modern life.

But it didn't take long for the bottom 3 floors of this beacon to become derelict. Businesses moved to other locations, foot traffic dwindled, leaving its serpentine passages and winding hallways dim and broken, with a faint scent of urine floating through the air. It became what it is now - a place where people would be terrified to enter alone.

With a reputation like that, one would be befuddled to learn that this group of 7 amazingly gorgeous young talents chose to place their show here. But where else could they place a masterpiece that takes the audience on a journey down to the bottom of hell? This space is the perfect home for this show, and it can't live anywhere else.

The show begins at the top floor, and makes its way to the very bottom, through a series of amazing surreal moments which happen all around as well as through the audience.

As the show progresses, the audience is moved through the top floors. At the time the show takes place, the top floors of the station are still operational, filled with people and music, and so the outside - people hurrying to catch a bus, music from shops, the sounds of conversations and shouts and vendors doing their jobs mingles in this inner secret world. The wonder is is created by the feeling of us being privy to something everyone else don't know or understand. It feels a little like being one of the characters in a Dr. Who episode - we've traveled to a world where significant characters move discretely among "ordinary" people and we alone see them and know their purpose.

As the show lead us through the mazes of the station, I found myself so entranced by the performance and this hidden world, that the outside world didn't even register. It was background to what was now real - this strange and abstract world I had entered.

The performers seemed slightly magical - appearing suddenly where they hadn't been a second ago, and I could have sworn I looked there! Glance away for an instant, and they're gone again, only to appear somewhere else to create another moment.

The farther down we went, the fewer people we saw, the darker the corridors became, the quieter the sounds around us, until on the third floor it was only us and them - no people, no music, no conversation. Here I felt the performers felt more free to "let loose" and make even more surreal scenes, and interact more with the audience.Review: SEVEN at MYSTORIN

Further down we went, and we reached corridors covered in broken pieces of station debris - deserted storefront windows which had shattered long ago, broken doors which were no longer of use, pieces of garbage left behind by the squatters that spend their nights there. This was not a part of the show, but it was a massive contribution to the atmosphere of it, as I could feel glass shattering under my feet, bits of refuse stuck to my shoes - all of it the real world seeping into the fantastical.

The show ended on the very bottom of the seven floors, and was followed by the cast very kindly taking questions and having chats with anyone interested. We were also invited to stroll through a hidden gallery in the deserted bottom floor where Mystorin hide their beautifully designed intricate creations.

This is an experience I believe anyone can enjoy. It transcends language or cultural barriers, it tells common universal truths and It's one of the most unique experiences I've ever been through. I would gladly go again and again to this magical world.

Photo credit: David Dector