BWW REVIEW: BLUE LOVE Shares The Less Rosy Side Of Relationships Through Humour, Dance, Silent Movies And Plenty Of Pop Culture References

BWW REVIEW: BLUE LOVE Shares The Less Rosy Side Of Relationships Through Humour, Dance, Silent Movies And Plenty Of Pop Culture References

Wednesday 23rd August 2017, 8pm, Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre

Exploring the realities of relationships, Shaun Parker's BLUE LOVE blends genres to take an amusing glimpse at one couple's views on love. Presented as Shaun Parker & Company's major fundraising event, this intriguing work is a unique theatre experience from start to finish and was paired with a preshow performance of THE YARD, featuring the Captivate Western Sydney dance program.

Shaun Parker (Director, Writer, Designer, Choreographer) has created an expression of a 1970's living space which transitions from a marked out 'blue print' of a home to a dressed space complete with intimate occasional table and chairs, bar and a somewhat odd stuffed Alsatian. A large screen hangs at the rear of the stage to accommodate the Silent Movie style captions and the recorded 'documentaries'.

Parker and Lucia Mastrantone, take on the roles of Glenn and Rhonda Flune, a pair of television hosts seeking to look at the evolution of Love. With a combination of live performance and pre-recorded sequences featuring Jo Stone (original co-director) in the role of Rhonda the expression is somewhat bizarre but also capturing truths of life. With the overall work presented as television show of sorts, with the audience sitting in for a studio audience, Parker and Mastrantone break the fourth wall right from the start with their wander through the audience offering refreshments and snacks and interacting with the audience, alluding to the attendance of A List celebrities.

Parker and Mastrantone has a fabulous dynamic as the Flunes, a married couple that are undergoing some challenges in their own relationship leading to the impression that the show is being presented under a degree of sufferance as Rhonda is clearly no longer satisfied with Glenn. There is a dorkiness to the work making the characters endearing and Parker has created an inventive work that uses humour to highlight some disturbing aspects of relationships. The obsession, betrayal, manipulation and unreciprocated love is all a little confronting when considering the real message beneath the madness but there is a reality and relatability for anyone who has dealt with a suitor who doesn't understand no or anyone who has dealt with a repentant partner.

The preshow presentation of an excerpt of THE YARD showcases the talents of 5 teens in an expression of a new student's experience of being an outsider in a new school. The work, directed and choreographed by Parker, has an honesty in its expression of youth as they stick to their little cliques, opting to tease and bully a newcomer rather than get to know them. The work expresses a hope though as the newcomer persists in showing his skills regardless of the taunts and is eventually accepted.

Both BLUE LOVE and THE YARD are wonderful expressions of Shaun Parker & Company's capabilities and the company's ability to consider contemporary topics through contemporary dance in an accessible format. BLUE LOVE will tour Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales through September and October 2017.

http://www.shaunparkercompany.com/shows/blue-love/#tourdates-3

Photo: Simon Wachter

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