BWW Review: MIRABEL, Ovalhouse Theatre
It's the end of the world, or alternatively, the start of a brand new one, and Mirabel seems to be the only person left. Confident and prepared, she sets off across the lonely desert to search for a grown up to make everything better.
Not everybody has the same name as the story they're in, so that lends us to the idea that Mirabel is actually quite important. She is, but so are others. Her favourite bear, a red-eyed dog and an injured pilot are just some of the many other wanderers she brings with her on the journey to find answers.
Penned and performed by soloist Chris Goode, it's a tale of what happens when you refuse to accept the inevitable. Told through words, sound and animation, Goode provides a delicious dissection into the unfamiliar world of adolescence. Poetic in form and lyrical in delivery, he has a gorgeous grasp for words and uses them in a way that effectively tells a complicated story, in a clean way.
The piece is both both soothing and raucous - kind of like the world we live in today. Matt Padden's sound design flits from the most delicate harmony to the harshest crash. The Ovalhouse literally shakes at some of its most intense moments. His sound tugs at your heart and then rips it out moments later.
This is not an easy watch. Audiences will be pushed mentally to keep up and will have to work hard to fully understand everything. But there's a joy in doing the work, because making yourself think offers the opportunity to self reflect and add your own spin on what's happening. So stick with it, it's worth it.
Mirabel is not your ordinary adventure tale, nor is it particularly one of hope and happiness. But I suppose that's life; it is unfriendly at times, and can sometimes throw up nasty obstacles in your way. However, as Goode's tale teaches, if you surround yourself with supportive companions, who look out for one another, nothing can really go wrong.
Photo courtesy of Chris Goode & Company