BANG! BANG! @ The Blue Room Theatre gets 8/10

@ The Blue Room Theatre
Thursday, November 28, 2019


WA choreographers Scott Elstermann and Shona Erskine teamed up in this spectacular dance double-header at The Blue Room Theatre. Covering all bases from the giggle-inducing to the genuinely moving, with a team of dancers that brought each piece to life with aplomb, it was a highly enjoyable feast for the eyes.

Choreographed by Shona Erskine in collaboration with her cast, Love You, Stranger was the first of the two pieces to be performed. Gritty, disturbing, and moving, it’s inspired by the real-life historical cases of three women being brought to trial for murder. Scott Elstermann, Storm Helmore and Bernadette Lewis brought the story to life and really transported the audience as they strained to follow this allusive tale, helped only by the occasional voiceover to help move the plot along.

In typical Blue Room style, the set was very minimal, which felt perfect for this piece as so much is left to the imagination. Each dancer had a chance to bring their own character’s journey towards the gallows to life, and each did so in their own physically impressive and sometimes startling way. At the end of the piece, all three of the dancers joined back together, stopping JUST short of characterising the judgement laid down upon their characters, before, with minimal fuss, they disappeared, leaving the audience to jerk themselves back to the present.

Inspired by Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest HotelAct 2, Scenes 1-4 choreographed by Scott Elstermann was up next. However, not before the audience was treated to a perfect palate cleanser of popcorn, handed out by two of the cast members in delightful old-school hotel bellhop uniforms which really helped one switch gears and get into the theme of the next performance.

Act 2, Scenes 1-4 is truly unique, showcasing the amazing talents of its cast members Laura Boynes, Storm Helmore, Lilly King and Bernadette Lewis. Elstermann’s choreography made use of cinematic conventions favoured by Wes Anderson, such as stop-motion and symmetry, and watching his representation of these conventions in real-time by physical actors was something to behold. The four dancers would pair off and lipsync little snippets of conversation from The Grand Budapest Hotel, in perfect symmetry with one another. It’s mindboggling to consider just how much dedication pulling that off must have taken.

Love You, Stranger by Shona Erksine and Act 2, Scenes 1-4 by Scott Elstermann combine perfectly to create BANG! BANG!, a wonderfully entertaining way to spend a unique evening that truly takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions. A definite must-see.


Photos by Emma Fishwick

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