Review: The Sensemaker at State Theatre Centre of WA

The Sensemaker at Rehearsal Room 1 @ at State Theatre Centre of WA
Wednesday, February 1, 2023


The Sensemaker was a thought-provoking piece that mixed theatre and dance to shine a spotlight on the human condition in our current times.

The show commences with the protagonist, (co-director and the show’s solo-star) Elsa Couvreur, entering into a fully black space that is entirely bare except for a phone situated at the very front left of the stage. As the audio commences, the audience join Couvreur in a journey of that ever-familiar and ultra-banal event we have all faced at one time or another, a phone call dictated by an automated voice.

At first, Couvreaur’s interaction with the automated voice is playful and funny. But as time passes, the requests of the automated voice appear to become authoritative and invasive, pushing what the audience may at first perceive as comedic satire into a deeper space of critical reflection.

Couvreaur is a talented performer, both as a dancer and an actor. Their ability to engage with the audience and lead them on an emotional journey purely by their own actions and the most minimal of props was exceptional. As the lights came up, the audience was relatively muted and a shared sense of shock and concern for what we had just witnessed could be felt around the theatre. This level of impact is not common in theatre and served to show just how strong and dominant Couvreaur’s performance was.

While many of us are still struggling to make sense of the world in the current post-COVID times, we can be grateful for pieces like The Sensemaker that are at least trying to help piece things together for us.