By Holly Ferguson
As you enter “The Round” at the State Theatre Centre, a.k.a rehearsal room one, you find yourself in a dark room with chairs formed in a circle around a small space, which holds some instruments and mics. On each chair sits a piece of folded fabric along with a description of the show and what exactly do with the fabric, which acts as an optional blindfold (you can use as much or as little as you like).
The show begins with two men taking the stage. One reads a monologue/poem set between two lovers and dictates the end of the world and universe, while the other plays the keyboard lightly. This moment, although slightly pretentious, was beautiful and an eloquent way to start the show.
Soon after three voices joined the space. One male, two females. The description left on my seat told me that each cast member was interviewed for two hours and the resulting transcript became the script for Less Light.
The stories told by the trio reminded me of the slightly tipsy conversations you have with friends, where things you might not normally divulge somehow leave your mouth with ease and without hesitation. The trio spoke on a range of topics including family, friends, sexuality, sex dreams, ghosts, cultural backgrounds and other millennial/ quarter life crisis issues.
The experiences of each of the cast were unique to the person but did shadow and mirror one another in ways. It was a great reminder of how the experiences we’ve faced have shaped us and made us who we are. It’s also a reminder that you’re not alone in your experiences.
This show truly has the capacity to enthral you. Draw you in and suck you up into the stories you’re hearing.
However, I unfortunately didn’t enter the suspension of disbelief, I didn’t relax, and I didn’t lose myself in the performance. I put this down to the incredibly uncomfortable high chair I was sitting in. The chairs being so tightly packed together, along with the nature of their design (no back support), makes it impossible for you to “sit back and relax”, which seemed kind of necessary in this performance.
Less Light would be better off without chairs. Perhaps having the audience on the floor, with the option to lie down or sit up, would be more immersive. That way the person can find their own source of comfortable sitting and just let the performance take over.
That being said, Less Light is truly a unique experience. It’s quintessentially Australian and a representation of “the millennial condition”.
Less Light is a special experience that embraces the audience and allows you to have an individual experience within a collective.