Yve Blake’s Then is as difficult to put in a box as the woman herself. Fascinating and joyous, randomly amusing and profound, a one-woman show that traverses verbatim, musical comedy and dance–all pulled together by her prodigious talent, and all over in about 70 minutes.
Blake is a collaborator, and this is a collaboration like no other. She sourced her material by building a website called WhoWereWe.com and soon the stories came flooding in. “It’s really all about previous versions of yourself,” explained Blake. “The core question is ‘who do you feel you used to be?’ I wanted people to write me glimpses of autobiography so that I could put it on stage.”
The result is a pastiche of the cringeworthy, the harrowing and the hillarious. It’s confession, it’s love letters, it’s the awkward crush, it’s the strange memories that lodge in our brains and make us who we are. Some are read out verbatim others are turned into songs like a collage of memories–and Blake has some voice too. Some songs are bizarrely funny, like ‘Not in a weird way’. Others like ‘Grow you down’ take you to a stiller, quieter, deeper place and continue to resonate long after the show is over.
Take along a new friend, and then afterwards enjoy asking them who they were, are and will be. (GW)
September 9–19 (Weds–Sat 7pm, Sun 5pm, Weds and Fri 11:30am). Australian Theatre for Young People, Pier 4/5 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay. $30. Tickets & info: atyp.com.au OR 0292702400