Home Review @ Brisbane Festival 2018

Elodie is an award-winning actor, director, playwright, and producer who enjoys her time onstage as much as her work behind-the-scenes. When she's not creating theatrical magic, she's reporting about the arts scene with her journalism and publicity prowess. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @el.boal.

Peek through the theatrical window of Brisbane Festival’s playful production, ‘Home’.

A cleverly devised and large-scaled production, ‘Home’ explores the feelings and relationships that exist in a house. That is, what does it mean to be home, where is your home and most importantly, what is a ‘home’?’

In a combination of acting, dancing, singing, illusion and clever engineering, the production establishes itself as an inventive and innovative concept. Embarking on a journey with the audience, the construction of a house is played out before us – highlighting the failures and triumphs of home ownership.

In an effort to show the bones of a home, creator and performer, Geoff Sobelle, starts the production with a basic wooden frame, which he staples together. Despite this initial DIY-process trudging along quite slowly, the performance gains momentum once the structure is erected.

On an empty stage, a house is conjured from nothing. It’s almost as if you’ve hit build mode in ‘The Sims’ and moved yourself in. In a magical display, performers pop in and out of cupboards, beds, showers and other spaces. The house is completed through the art of distraction.

Housing the routines of everyday life, ‘Home’ takes our common experiences and replays them for all to see. From birth to death, the occupants move in and out, are married and divorced, celebrate and commiserate, live and die in the house, and even return to haunt it. The production accommodates every possible series of events.

The audience looks on as decrepit rooms are refurbished and redecorated, new family members are welcomed, inhabitants get ready for work and even when fire burns everything to the ground. We are positioned to feel like Peeping Toms – especially when performers bare it all for their morning showers. Despite being an outsider looking in, it’s hard not to relate to these scenes. This is life exactly, and everything that occurs behind closed doors.

At times, there is so much happening on stage, in multiple rooms, that it’s hard to choose what you should focus on. Narrator and performer, Elvis Perkins, helps navigate the show with his fitting harpsichord, which lends an eerily wonderful soundtrack to the production. The co-collaboration has the utmost commitment from all the cast and creatives involved. It’s genius, imaginative, and extremely relatable.

To further cement our sentimental values regarding home-life, audience members are invited on stage to contribute to the memories. The production becomes completely interactive – where everyone shares the same values and is welcomed into the space.

‘Home’ plays out every emotion, event and possible catastrophe. It’s an incredibly unique production that masterfully questions what makes a house, a home. It intertwines the beliefs of an audience and resonates with all who come to visit. A must-see at the Brisbane Festival this year – even if it’s just to see the magic that can happen in theatre.

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